Getting over getting cut
Last Updated: April 28, 2009 2:00 PM
Kim Mccullough The Female Game
We just finished our first round of tryouts for next year's teams here in Toronto, which means there are some aspiring girls hockey 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.
Five years ago, I had what I thought was my best hockey season ever. I was playing alongside and competing with the national team girls on a daily basis and not surprisingly, every single aspect of my game improved. I was pretty excited when the coach came up to me at a practice late in the year and all but "guaranteed" me a spot on the team for the next season.
I was more than a little bit surprised when the coach called me into the office a few days after the season was done and cut me from the team. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach and had the wind knocked out of me. I was angry, frustrated and I felt hopeless. And the worst part is that I didn't even get a chance 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.
When it comes to hockey or life, nothing 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 did make 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 hockey players are made away from the rink in the summer. If a player wants to reach the elite level, the dedication to becoming the best athlete possible off the ice in the summer is what will make them the best player possible on the ice in the fall. That doesn't mean that you need to train 4 plus hours a day this summer 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.
That might mean taking 100 or 1000 shots a day in your driveway, playing another sport regularly to stay in top shape or committing to an off-ice training program for the summer.
Whatever it is, keep in mind that reaching your full potential on the ice and realizing all of your hockey dreams never comes easy. And no matter what team you are playing on next season, it's your commitment to becoming the best player possible this summer that will make you unstoppable in September and set the stage for the rest of your hockey career.« Spring cleaning | The Female Game home | H1N1, Hockey equipment and you »