Showcase Tournaments, Winning Banners, and Two Shifts a Period

It’s always exciting to have another showcase tournament on the horizon. As the buzz and excitement grows, sometimes the focus narrows and goes from development to winning. When that goes astray usually some players pay a big price. Tournaments are important, winning is important, but at what cost? Obviously, we are more than halfway through the season and by now every player have their specific roles on the team. Clearly the ultimate goal at this point of the season is setting things up for a long playoff run and a chance at winning a provincial championship and beyond. Winning a championship(banner) with a one-line team, is a thing of the past in this day and age.  The depth of talent across the game is arguably at all-time high. Depth of talent, skill and systems are imperative in any championship run. Every coach shortens their bench from time to time, which is totally acceptable in some instances, but when it’s a normal occurrence that’s when it becomes a big, big problem.  Showcase tournaments are massively important for a plethora of reasons, but what are they really for? Winning or showcasing talent? I guess everyone has their own opinion on those questions,

As for Two Shifts a Period,

Two Shifts a Period

Unfortunately, we have all been there, we have all been victims of a short bench. If you haven’t experienced it, then you truly don’t know or understand what it feels like. We are all told it’s part of the game, it’s part of the process, but it still hurts. When ghost benching happens, it tears apart a young players psyche and confidence.

This is for all the players that experienced ghost benching or only played two shifts a period this season or any season for that matter.

A Letter to All Young Players That Have Been Ghost Benched

Don’t lose hope, you’re a good player. Keep working, never give up. Don’t lose your passion and love of the game. Don’t let someone else dictate your love and passion for the game. Don’t second guess yourself, it’s not your fault that you were ghost benched. It’s hard to believe because it’s your perception of the situation, but you didn’t do anything wrong.

Everyone understands how nervous you are when you finally have a chance to go out there. That’s perfectly normal and it’s really not fair.

Your mistakes get magnified because of the situation. That’s normal to. The sad reality is that when you come back to the bench you feel like you let the entire team down. I know it feels this way, but that’s not the case at all.

Coaches always say be ready, but it’s hard to be ready when you have sat for 7 or 8 mins between shifts or when you have six shifts a game.

It’s hard to get going and up to speed when you don’t play, again that’s not your fault, that’s the situation and that’s completely out of your control.

You can say you’re having fun playing on the team and being an amazing teammate like you are, but deep down it’s ok to say that you’re not having fun, who would, only playing two shifts a period or six shifts a game.

People around you will always try to console or make things seem better than they are when it comes to not playing, they will say sweeping statements like, “it’s the process,” “you have to wait for your turn, your turn will come next year.”

Those statements are meant to be supportive, but, they hurt probably more because they are bringing even more attention to the situation. Even though it feels like you’re alone, you’re not. Your experiences are more common than you think.

Don’t lose hope, don’t lose your love and passion for the game.

Every year isn’t the same, this isn’t what it’s going to be like each and every year. Things will change, you will have a coach that understands, and they will play and give you the opportunity you deserve. You have probably learned more than anyone else has dealing with what you have experienced. The adversity you have faced is unimaginable, it’s not right, but you have grown and developed even if you don’t think so, you have.

Keep working, never give up and most importantly don’t let anyone rob you of your love and passion for the game, keep moving forward, these awful and unfair experiences won’t last.

Keep playing, keep pushing and when you’re time comes to play a regular shift show compassion for all those that don’t get the opportunity, talk to them, make them feel important and valued because you know exactly what they are going through.

Your time will come, you’re not alone, you’re never alone. If you’re struggling talk to someone about what you have experienced.

See you at the rink,

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