I played hockey when I was a kid...a long, long time ago. At the time, I thought I was going to become a professional hockey player, and so did my parents. We had big dreams for my future stardom. Things didn’t turn out quite the way I (or we) planned, and I’m the first to admit that. However, as the current hockey coach for my son’s team, I’m okay with that. I don’t resent hockey, and if I had it to do over again, I’m not sure I’d change anything; I’m glad for all that hockey taught me.
To be fair, I had a pretty good run of it. I was featured in the Hockey News Junior Ratings back n the 90s. The sport led me to play in lots of exciting games, take part in tryouts with famous athletes, and above all else, gave me the confidence and self-awareness needed to be what’s considered a
I am pretty darn happy with the way my life turned out, even if it didn’t quite line up with my original goals, which included being the next Wayne Gretzky and winning the Hobey Baker Award.
What ended up happening to me, in a nutshell, is that I fell in love with the sport, had a lot of fun and excitement playing it, never made it big, and still love it. I credit the fact that I’m not resentful to my parents and coaches, who always made the game about fun and passion and who took a “whatever happens happens” attitude.
Also, my parents and coaches always encouraged me to pursue other interests and activities; in essence, they wanted me to be a well-rounded person, and I think I am. I have a beautiful wife and a wonderful son who I wouldn’t trade for anything...even a professional hockey career.
I think I am living proof that, with the right attitude, it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter whether a player ends up going pro or not. That should never be the focus. When the focus is on the right things- having fun and developing passion and work ethic- you can let the cards (or the puck) fall where they may and still come out the other side happy and better for the experience of being a youth athlete.
- Anonymous Hockey Dad