Hockey is one of the most dangerous sports you can play but it is also one that can teach you many lessons about life, and about yourself. Many hockey players have gone on to achieve great things outside of hockey, but also many players have been complete failures outside the rink.
While many of the lessons, which that can be learnt by playing hockey, can be learned elsewhere, it’s impossible to deny that there have been many players who have achieved astounding success after the hung up their skates. The most important life lesson that hockey teaches you is that once you get knocked down, you need to pick yourself up, and move on. While in life, you will surely get knocked down a few times. It will be really painful, and it may seem like the worst thing in the world, but you need to pick yourself up and move on, while trusting that things will be better in a few hours, or days. Sadly this is a lesson, which can only be learned from experience.
Another important lesson which hockey teaches you is that you are your brother’s keeper. I’m not going to lie and say that hockey is a non-violent sport. In fact one of the main things that draws people to attend hockey games is the violence and the fights. With that being said though, if you look really closely, you will see that while many fights start out with only two players, soon you will see other players rushing in to join the fight. While many of them probably couldn’t care less about what happened, all that they know is that their teammate needs their help, and that they will help them. What this goes to show is that sometimes in life you don’t know why you are doing something, all you know is that your friend or teammate needs your help, and that you need to help him, as he would do the same for you. This too, can only be learnt from experience.
The third, and perhaps most important lesson which you will learn as a hockey player is perhaps the value, and necessity of teamwork. As we all know, hockey is a team sport. No single player can completely win the game. While an individual can make a huge difference, ultimately they must sacrifice the chance for personal glory, so that their teammates can win. Many hockey players do this without question. A hockey game can only be won by a team working together, and with their coaches and medical staff. There are so many different variables in a game, and if just one of them goes awry, the game runs a serious risk of being lost. Teamwork is the most essential thing in a hockey game. With out teamwork, there are no victories, and without victories, it is unlikely that a team will stay together for the long haul. With that being said, while hockey is perhaps unlike any other sport you can play, an athlete’s career is always limited by age.
After a player hangs up his skates he normally goes on to do other things, a great example of a hockey player who was more successful outside the rink than inside would be Canada’s Tim Horton. While h Tim Horton is most famous for his coffee shops, which you can find all over North America, he also was a professional hockey player for 24 seasons. As such he has a long time to learn the leadership skills needed to run a successful business. All that we can say is that he learnt them very well.
In conclusion, while playing hockey professionally is definitely not for everyone, you will learn a lot about yourself, and others by playing. Everyone should at least grab a stick and try to play for fun though; it’ll be worth it.