We just finished our first round of girls hockey tryouts for next year’s teams here in Toronto, which means that there are some players with broken hearts out there.
I’ve been cut my fair share of times in my hockey career and I know how much it sucks.
But one time in particular hurt more than the rest…
Back in 2003-2004, I had what I thought was my best hockey season ever out in Calgary. I was playing alongside the national team girls and, not surprisingly, every single aspect of my game improved. At a practice late in the season, the coach all but “guaranteed” me a spot on the team for the next season.
And then a few days after the season was done, I got cut from the team. When the coach told me, it was like I had been kicked in the stomach and had the wind knocked out of me. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I asked the coach why I had been cut and they gave me about 7 different reasons, none of which I agreed with. I was angry, frustrated and I felt hopeless. And I didn’t even get a chance to go to tryouts to fight for my spot! Even though I had played so well and slowly worked my way up the depth chart by dedicating myself completely to become the best player possible, I wasn’t even invited back for a tryout.
To say that it stung would be a huge understatement. I was devastated. I moved back to Toronto, continued to work hard and dream big, but it took me a while to get over being cut from the team of my dreams.
Nothing in life is ever guaranteed.
You may think you are a lock to make the team, and then get the rug pulled out from under you. Or you may just not be good enough to be on the team of your dreams…yet.
As a player, it’s easy to get frustrated and wonder why you put all that effort in for nothing. As a parent, you are at a loss for how to help your daughter get through this challenging time.
The truth is, whether you made the team or not, you’re next question has to be…
What Do I Do Now?
If you didn’t make the team you wanted to make, it doesn’t mean that you should just coast through the summer and not work hard to be your best.
And if you made the team, you aren’t off the hook either. I am sure your coach expects you to come back in September in great shape.
Great female hockey players are made away from the rink in the summer. The top players have to train as hard as possible so that they can fight to keep their spot on the team. Their dedication to being the best player possible off the ice is what allows them to play their best on the ice. And if you want to play at that elite level and want make sure that you are unstoppable in September, you have to put in your fair share of hard work off the ice too.
That doesn’t mean that you need to train 4+ hours a day like the national team members, but you do need to move yourself at least one step closer to your hockey dreams every day if you want to achieve them. Off-ice training may not by the most fun part of hockey, but it’s your dedication to it that gets you noticed and will allow you to compete for a spot on the elite teams for years to come.
How would you get over getting cut?
Work Hard. Dream BIG.
~ Coach Kim