Why is the Hockey World So Judgmental?

Why is the hockey world so judgmental? Well, probably because it’s full of entitled self-imposed experts that believe and follow archaic hockey cultural norms to the letter. In many cases it’s their way or the highway when it comes to making decisions around the game of hockey.

One only has to look as far as players and their families making the decision to take a “different route” or “path” in the game to see the brunt force and uncalled for resistance surrounding this topic.

Selecting a “different path” in the game of hockey is a personal, it’s a decision that shouldn’t be judged or criticized. It’s evident that archaic hockey cultural norms and beliefs would suggest two perspectives: 1) The player is not good enough to make or have an impact on  local elite level teams, so they chose to go elsewhere and 2) That the player and their family believes they are too good for the local teams and decide to leave to be challenged and develop elsewhere.

At the end of the day one hockey lifer recently summed it up almost perfectly. “There are a lot of competing interests and agendas, that’s why this process gets complicated.”

Obviously, being judgmental and holding grudges doesn’t help the game or anyone for that matter, it just builds even more animosity, speculation, rumours, jealousy and controversy.

“When people step outside of the local path it triggers a long list of comments and judgments. ‘Why would they spend all that money’, if you are not good enough for here,'” the hockey lifer suggested.

“Then there’s the draining the local talent and programs perspective, it’s just plan jealousy and in my opinion it exposes local programs,” added the hockey lifer.

It all boils down to competing interests and different agendas within the game,  that’s why there’s so much judgement. Taking a “different path” in the game isn’t really taking a “different path”, we only assume that it’s different because not everyone decides to take it. We use words like unconventional to describe certain players journey’s in the game, (which I’m guilty of using tons of times), but let’s face it, every path is unique. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it doesn’t mean it’s right.

Wouldn’t it be great if those within the hockey world would keep their judgments or criticisms to themselves? For some hockey families the decision to choose a unique route or select another option for their son or daughter feels like an entirely new beginning in the game and in other cases a second chance.

Earned or deserved, why can’t certain people within the game see or accept other options or routes in the game?   I guess it’s like everything else, if it’s not their decision, it’s the wrong one. People are quick to judge when it doesn’t impact them, there’s no question if the shoe was on the other foot, they would be weighing all their options as well in the best interest of their family and child. Wouldn’t it be great if the hockey world wasn’t so judgmental!

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