player tips



Making The Most of The Moment

Posted by Greg Carter

I experienced something inspiring recently which made me more excited than ever to get back on the ice! 

Like everyone during these difficult and challenging times, each day can bring a roller coaster of emotions. I had a conversation recently with someone who told me that they feel like they go through the seven stages of grief daily: Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing and Acceptance.

There is no playbook, blueprint or John Madden-like white board to diagram something that will serve as a crystal ball. Everyone is sort of doing what they can to get through this moment in time, including our youth, who also all have a unique way of dealing with things.

As I was out for a recent run I noticed something that, prior to this ‘new frontier’ that we are entering, was nothing short of routine and normal. A young hockey player was in her driveway shooting a stack of pucks larger than I had previously seen.There were stickhandling balls, orange cones to stickhandle through and also a passing device that bounced pucks back to the passer. 

If that wasn’t enough, inside the garage was a pull up bar and some dumbbells for weightlifting. There was even a weight tied to a rope and a handle; I hadn’t seen a homemade wrist roller in a long time and was super impressed!

When I again passed by this house returning home on my run, the pucks were gathered ready for more shots and this kid was now working on stickhandling around the cones. Naturally, I had to stop and inquire, and essentially what I heard was this. 

“I figure if I keep working harder than I ever have I’m going to pass by some of the players that aren’t,” she said. “I started shooting pucks one day, bought more, then went online and learned how to make a wrist roller, found the cones in the garage which I’m using to stickhandle around and also found all of these different sized balls in the house. When I get back on the ice I’m going to be a better stickhandler, better shooter and have better hand-eye coordination than I’ve ever have!”

The excitement in her voice was unmistakable, and you know what, she said it with confidence and a smile that made my day. 

As I continued on towards the homestretch of my run, I realized that as a hockey coach missing my players and stopping to offer a tip or two for this player, it was actually this young hockey player that taught me something. 

As we look back at this moment, there will be those who sat idle during these times and those that kept their focus, motivation, great attitude and perspective. There is light at the end of the tunnel. When we are on the other side of this, we will all appreciate things just a little more and approach things with a renewed sense of optimism?

I was inspired by this young hockey player, her positive attitude, work ethic and genuine enthusiasm for the future. I hope by sharing this story that you are as well!

Thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing you back on the ice soon!

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