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Story of My Career

December 7, 2009

The game of hockey has given me everything I have; my career, my joy for coaching and the rewards I receive watching the progression of young student-athletes, and an outlet for me when I just can’t or won’t deal with life. I lay awake at night unable to sleep like everybody else, but these days I think about players that I coach and I wonder what I can say to help them improve their abilities on the ice, abilities as simple as shooting the puck or understanding defensive zone coverage. I also lay there trying to figure out how I can teach kids to let things go, whether it be dealing with the mistake that leads to a goal, or whatever it might be within their brain that’s holding them back from their own development.
I’m pretty sure I have a point here, but in any case, this is my blog, and I can be whatever I want to do.
I’m in a pretty good mood, sitting here at work while the adult league carries on outside the office. What does frustrate me is witnessing grown men leaving the rink far more upset and perturbed than when they arrived. I love playing hockey, but watching guys stand in front of the net take wicked cross-checks to the back because they’re trying to play their role on the powerplay makes me never want to play again. I’ll go play senior hockey instead, beacsue when the game is over, it’s over. What’s the point of playing beer league if it’s just going to get you all riled up? Shouldn’t you be using it as excercise and a chance to get out of your own head and away from your job, your family, and whatever else in your life might be bringing you down?
I’m extremely lucky, and I know it. I have more than one group of young hockey players that adores me in spite of, or more likely because of the fact that I tell them exactly what is holding them back on the ice and off. I put everything I have into the game, and even though anyone that cites this and claims they don’t do it for themselves is a total liar, I can safely say that I have no aspiration to ride the natural talent of a kid that I coach. My name will speak for itself, eventually. Not today, but someday. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the game from all the different aspects of it in which I am involved. I’ll cherish the relationships I’ve made with the amazing kids and the solid parents. I won’t take for granted the lessons I’ve learned from the families that cling to the notion that I’ve purposely tried to ruin their child’s chances of a career in the show, for I am what I am because I’ve been taught to learn from everything, and to worry about the process and not the result.
My grandpa died this weekend. My old man was a half hour late, but it’s ok because he got to see him last week. He was actually really my dad’s uncle, too, and he had his real sons by his side. I’ve dealt with it, I’ve had a couple practices and a tournament to think exclusively about hockey and the roads that my kids are travelling. Hockey is a funny game, sometimes the perfect companion, and sometimes a veritable ball and chain, but at least it’s mine, in whatever capacity I might choose.
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