So here we are, your final season as a junior hockey player. In the midst of the tryout camp season, some are looking for the team, some are wondering will they be on the same team, some are wondering if they will find the new team. To be sure it can be a confusing and stressful time in a young man life.
Too often we are focused on the destination in life. We look to where we are going, where we want to go, and what we may aspire to be if all goes as planned. More often than not, our plan as a player ends up turning different than we thought it would be. I am here to tell you that its alright if it does.
For most of you this summer will be your last of which you will enjoy simply being a junior player, for the lucky few you will move on to the NCAA, Canadian University or Professional hockey ranks.
For many years you have now devoted yourself to attaining the goals you have set out for yourselves. Disappointing as it may sound, most of you will not achieve the goals you had.
Fear not though because you are not alone. For many years, player have been experiencing this same thing. It is only the lucky few who move on to the highest level.
Forget the dream for now. See what you have accomplish because you too have reached the level that many aspire too, but never achieve. Even the Tier III player must look at his accomplishment, because thousands each season do not make the Tier III level.
But what is the destination?
If there is a destination it is made up of many small destinations along the way to the ultimate one. It is a path full of benchmarks set out and achieved. It is the road of marked success.
So, this season, your last season. Whether you play at the level you once dreamed to play or somewhere beneath what you had aspired to, take a look around you. Breath it in. Enjoy the moments. Enjoy the wins, take in the losses to your soul. Enjoy the time with the team mates. Take on the younger player and teach him how to appreciate this time because for him too it will soon be over.
Savor every moment. Forget what might have been, what could have been, where you may have been had things been different. Enjoy the season. Do not speak of living the dream because you have been living the dream since you first put on the skates. The dream is real, and you have been a part of passing the game on to the next ones, become a steward of the game. Guard it, keep it close to your heart. Pass the lessons learned on to those that will follow.
In the end, it is only a game that many of us play, few will ever master, but all of us love.