Not to sound creepy or anything, but someone is always watching. That’s life in the sporting world, especially in the game of hockey.
Last night was a perfect example of that.
Usually I sit at the far end of the rink when I scout games, last night was no exception. I arrived four minutes into the first period, because I wanted to make sure I was around for the first part of our girls bedtime. My colleague with the Fredericton Red Wings was already there when I arrived.
Across the rink sat two Moncton Thunderbirds watching two of their teammates that were called up to play with the Flyers. Eight to ten minutes later the rest of the team came filtering in and sat in section next to us.
Four or five players were eating while cheering on their teammates. A few of their friends came over at sat in the same section as well.
By the second intermission the Thunderbirds friends had left and a few players remained. The players that had eaten their late supper had placed the containers under their seats. As one player got up to leave they walked behind and made sure to pick it up and throw out the stuff in the garbage.
Just before the start of the 3rd period I walked across the ice to ask a QMJHL scout a few questions, when I returned to my section the Thunderbirds were joined by one of their coaches. They provided encouragement and cheered on their players and teammates for the rest of the game.
You see getting called up for these players is a massive deal. It’s a chance to prove themselves at the next level. Even if you don’t think someone is taking notice, they are. Someone is always watching, someone is always watching on and off the ice.
At the end of the game the Thunderbirds Asst Coach when over to congratulate the two players and shake their hands as they came off the ice, their smiles said it all, while the other players got up to leave, one player stayed behind and threw out the rest of the garbage. Now it could have been that players garbage, and of course he was just doing the right thing, but you would be surprised in this day and age how many other young players or teenagers would have just got up and walked away.
A simple thing like throwing out garbage might not seem like a big deal to you, but it tells me a lot about the kid.
As scouts we always talk about the intangibles and how important they are. Well last night I witnessed tons of those on and off the ice.
Oh by the way, the Thunderbird call ups played very well last night, they didn’t look out of place at all. They played to their identity and contributed in every facet of the game. I’m not shocked at all to see U-16 AAA players flourish in call up roles. That entire league deserves more attention. Oh and if that sounds like I’m promoting that league than so be it. It needs promoting. There’s great players and people in that league. It’s highly underrated, but that’s a story for another day.
On or off the ice, someone is always watching whether you know it or not. The character and intangibles players and people possess do make a difference in life and the game of hockey.
To some it’s no big deal, to others it’s everything, just like picking up after yourself or your teammates or being there to genuinely cheer on and support your teammates instead of being jealous you didn’t get the call up.
Someone is always watching.