What does the game mean to you?Where do you want to go in the game?
Hockey is definitely on the horizon, which is great to see, but how will young aspiring players handle the return?
Obviously, everyone is anxious to get back to the rinks and get back to some normalcy, but what has yet another long pause done for draft eligible prospects and their mind set?
Do players these days really want it?
Do they and their parents even know what it takes to reach their goals in the game? Are they willing to make the sacrifices necessary to get there?
About two months ago now, a great friend reached out.
This conversation like all of our interactions are incredibly impactful and usually cover a wide range of topics surrounding the game.
Our discussion/series of text messages started with my writing and reporting surrounding hockey’s cultural shortcomings and my interest in covering that aspect of the game.
Their feedback was raw and to the point. This conversation was different. You see this hockey lifer has always had my back.
Their feedback isn’t always what you want to hear. They don’t care about the intentions, they are focused looking out for me in their own unique way, which I really appreciate. In this particular case they were totally against my articles dealing with the cultural side of the game.
That portion of the conversation will stay off the record, but when I voiced my intentions they provided their stance on the game and some of it’s inaccuracies.
“Think of the other side of unfairness in hockey.”
“How many costs their kids opportunities, either being misinformed or too involved,” they said.
What has this last pause done to hockey parents? Do the parents want it more than the kid?
Did the kid stay as active as they could throughout the long pause?
Opportunity within the game is everything. Clearly players should earn those opportunities, but what happens when they don’t earn them and are just given them, just because?
We can all agree that entitlement in the game is at an all time high right now.
Young aspiring players feel entitled, and for those that have to work and do everything for just an opportunity are probably going to be better off in the end.
During a recent podcast, I stressed “players to watch,” or who I was going to focus in on after the break from a scouting perspective.
Obviously, as scouts we are there to evaluate the best talent available, but my approach is going to different after the most recent pause. In my opinion the honest players are going to be the players that jump off the page now.
You see honest players have to work for everything. Nothing is given. In some cases not even opportunities to showcase their true talents.
Honest players will have improved the most during this latest pause, want to know why?
You see honest players are the best practice players. They work harder than any other players on their teams. Honest players don’t go through the motions, they aren’t entitled, they just understand what it takes.
You see they want it. They would do just about anything to accomplish their dreams in the game. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s still time.
There’s still time for the entitled flash and dash players to figure it out. To be brutally honest most flash and dash players have already figured it out, but there are still some out there that believe that they can just rely on their talents to take them where they want to go.
Hopefully this pause has had a massive impact on their mindset and they have realized what the game really means to them.
Ultimately, the pause is almost over and every player, coach, parent and scout will deal with its return differently.
What does the game really mean to you?
Where do you want to go in the game?
How much are you willing to sacrifice to accomplish your dreams and to be at your best?
Do your parents and coaches want it more than you do?
Do your parents have all the facts about your work ethic and what happens behind the scenes, are they misinformed, are your parents too involved?
Do your coaches trust you?
Have you asked your coaches what you can do or have to do to get better? Have you worked for your opportunities? What are you doing to get better every day? How bad do you really want it?
There’s still time, time to change your mindset, your focus and work ethic. What have you learned about yourself and how much the game means to you during the pause?