A Game Changer

By , Wyckoff, NJ

The day I almost quit hockey was one of the most influential days of my life. Hockey had always been a part of my family, even before I was born. My Dad played hockey all throughout his life and even went on to play in College, where he met my Mom. It was the sport he loved and one of his biggest passions. From the time I was born my Dad had a hockey stick in my hands. It's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I remember begging my Dad to play with me in the garage late at night and even though he had just gotten back from a long day at work, he would still play with me. Eventually, we bought a net and put it in the basement. We spent a whole day creating a rink on the old concrete floor out of red and blue duck tape. I remember wearing my Dad's enormous pads because I wanted to be like a real hockey player.  Once I got a little older, I started going to skating lessons. After I got pretty good at skating, I tried out for a team because I thought I liked hockey. That’s when it all began.


At first I loved the game. I had been wanting to play for as long as I can remember. It was fun for a while. Me and my dad would go to the games and I got to see all my friends and we were pretty good. I remember my first game. I was so nervous because I had never actually played in a game before. Luckily, my friends were all in that same boat with me so it was okay and we won which was a great way to start my hockey experience. This went on for a while. Eventually, things started to change for the worse. I started to get annoyed with how early in the mornings the games were, our team started to lose games, and it just started to become less fun. I began to dislike it so much to the point of crying over practice. I hated it and I wanted to quit. The games were far and early and I just wasn’t enjoying it the way I had when I first started. My dad said I couldn’t because he was the coach and quitting wasn’t the right thing to do. This is the game my Dad loved and he wanted to share it with me and it made him upset when he realized I wasn’t enjoying it. I started to think maybe this sport wasn’t for me and that I might be wasting my time.  My first season of hockey was over. I wasn’t planning on playing the next year, but during the offseason I continued to play with my dad in our basement and driveway and the game became fun again. So, I decided to play again. My second season was much better all around and kept growing my love for the game. I went on to invest lots of my time and money into this sport.  It’s crazy to think about now, but what I thought was the worst thing to happen to me, became one of the things I love most.


Though it was all I wanted at the time, quitting hockey could have been one of the worst decisions of my life. I didn’t realize this at the time, but this truly was one of the most influential decisions of my life.  I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I still play to this day, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy journey. Each season brought new challenges, whether it be bad teammates, mean coaches, injuries, and many others, these challenges made me who I am today. Each year has taught me something different based on the coaches, players, and success of the team. When the coach was mean, it taught me respect. When the team was bad and the players caused problems, it taught me patience and not to get frustrated. I also never realized how large of a role my parents played in this journey. They supported me the whole time and whatever decision I would make they would support me, but remind me of the possible outcome of all the options.   The combined characteristics from each season are now a part of me and how I think. I love this sport and I would like to play for as long as I can because I know I will continue to learn things and grow in different ways I could never have imagined.






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