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The Dao of Sport

Leo Podolsky (Forester Men’s Hockey) applied what he learned in Professor Rui Zhu’s Asian Thought course to his athletic competition and accomplished something that hasn’t been done at Lake Forest College in 30 years

If you think studying Philosophy has no practical application in everyday life, think again. Thanks in large part to Professor Rui Zhu’s course on Asian Thought, Forester Men’s Hockey goaltender Leo Podolsky enjoyed a season for the ages. After leading the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association in almost every statistical category for goaltenders from wire to wire, Podolsky was voted the conference Player of the Year (the first such award in program history). To cap things off, the American Hockey Coaches Association named Podolsky a First Team All-American, an honor that hadn’t been given to any Forester Men’s Hockey player since the 1984-1985 season.


Podolsky maintains that his elevated play comes from applying a Daoist perspective on thinking to his mental preparation for games. After the season, Podolsky and Professor Zhu recounted the meaning of “non-purposive purposiveness”, or wu-wei, to sport in the video below.