Rolling With The Changes In Hockey
Change may be the only constant but boy do we fight it! Call us creatures of habit or afraid of the unknown but no matter how you slice it, we generally don't embrace change too well, in life and in hockey.
A coach decides to spend more time with his family and we all collapse in to fear. Did he not like the team? Who will replace them? What if that coach isn't as good? Will my kid like them?
Your player gets cut from the team they have played on for two years. Was he/she not good enough? Did the coach not like him or her? Why did that new player get a spot?
Half of your team jumps ship and goes to a different association? Well that just might be armageddon, watch for locusts!
Why don't we ever stop to say "The coach wants to spend more time with his family? That's great!" or "It will be fun getting to know a new coach and the kids will get a fresh perspective!" or "This will be a great opportunity for my player to make new friends." and "This will be a new challenge to play on a whole different team!"
I suppose the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.
And in our small youth hockey community, the devil is closer than you think. Since we are such a tight, close knit group it can feel like utter betrayal to have a coach leave or a player decide to try out somewhere else. I can't tell you how many conversations I have had surrounding just those very changes.
The good thing about being in youth hockey and in particular, a small youth hockey community is that you will see them again. Often. Maybe more often than you care to depending on the person...
I challenge you (and myself) as tryouts, the most interesting part of the season (see what I did there, I could have said "nerve wracking" or "crazy" or "stressful") commence to re-frame how you see your youth hockey world.
Try a different view, a different perspective and if all else fails, move on. Most changes tend to be for the better anyway. Embrace it early.
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. Or, cry because it's over AND smile because it happened. I am a great believer in smiling through tears.
How do you handle change in your youth hockey player's world?