All too often, people in the youth hockey world spend their time complaining about certain aspects of the sport. They complain about the expenses, the constant trips to practices and games, and the problems with coaches and officials. They forget, though, that the reason they put up with all this stuff, imperfections and all, is, or at least should be, because of a true love for the game and all that it entails.
There are so many beautiful things to love about hockey, like that feeling of anticipation and excitement right before a big game. It’s also nice that there are simple, clear-cut, and carefully enforced rules. Unlike in the real world, there are easy answers ,and there is always, at the end of the day, a clear winner and loser.
There’s also the thrill of speeding fast across the ice, or, if you’re a parent, of watching your child do the sailing. There’s the thrill of competition, and before that, there is the hard work, the sweat, and the tears. But there’s joy too- joy over scoring a goal, joy over making a great play, or just plain joy over finally seeing improvement in a particular skill or area.
There is so very much to love about hockey, including the friendships it often brings and the way it teaches teamwork and self-confidence. Try and remember all of these great things the next time you catch yourself complaining about hockey or the next time you think about throwing in the towel and giving it all up. If you’re like most people who truly love the sport, you know that will never happen. There’s too much passion behind this game. Hold tight to that passion and beauty when things get tough, and it will see you through.