I think there’s a simple question that gets lost in the shuffle of hockey all the time.
We become so caught up in the routine that I think we forget to take a second and stop and think.
Do you actually want to do this?
I guess when you really stop and think about it, it’s a simple question to ask but a much harder question to answer for most.
It’s just like an onion where there are many layers. We all need to keep peeling back different sections to ultimately get to our answer.
I think it’s becoming all to common that players are getting to the realization that hockey at a high level is not something they are interested in pursuing anymore.
And you know what, that’s ok.
I think so many of us get caught up in the thinking that “I’ve been playing hockey for most of my life and the goal has always been to keep getting better, and making that higher team” that we forget to keep checking in with ourselves to see if that’s really what we want.
The truth is, I think a lot of players continue to play through their adolescence and teen years because it’s “simply what they do, and have always done.” And not necessarily because the love and drive of the game is what is fueling them to go to the rink everyday.
Or, they keep telling themselves that they want to play on that high level team, when in reality, they simply enjoy playing the game but don’t have the drive or desire to put in the necessary work to truly enjoy the experience.
The truth is, the higher in hockey you go, the more commitment, time, and sacrifice that it takes to be a part of it.
I think too often we don’t ask ourselves that simple question, and instead, just keep following our old routine, or trying to make our parents happy, or continue playing because that’s what our friends are doing.
The reality is, if your heart isn’t in it, then why are you doing it?
There’s no shame in coming to the realization that you don’t want to commit a huge chunk of your time, effort, and energy into something that your heart just isn’t passionate about.
That also doesn’t mean that you don’t still enjoy the game. It simply means that different areas of your life you are prioritizing more. And like I said above, that’s ok.
So I ask all of you to take a second and ask yourself the simple question, do you actually want to do this?
And if you do, then great that’s awesome. Keep grinding away and pursuing your dreams and committing to your team and teammates.
But if you don’t, that’s ok too.
And if you want to keep playing hockey, that’s awesome and I hope you find a level and team that meets your commitment level.
Because we should never feel pressured to play on a team where our heart isn’t in it.
The game is meant to be fun.
If you don’t want to commit to multiple practices, workouts, meetings, and games every week then don’t do it.
Ultimately, figure out what you want and find a situation that’s right for you.