Many times there are little things lost when playing sports such as 'pleases' and 'thank yous.' Hockey players often forget how much their parents give up for them so that they can play this game. We often forget to say 'thanks' for driving two and a half hours on a Saturday morning at 6 AM just so we can be in another part of the state in time for puck drop. We usually forget the word 'please' when we say our skates need to be sharpened before practice.
The sport of hockey is not a cheap one due to all the equipment costs, team fees and the apparel we usually buy to go with it. Parents have to give up so much money just so their kids can play. This is a major sacrifice and an ultimate sign of their love that they are willing to devote this much into their own kids happiness. This is a major reason many kids who love the sport are not able to play and its not their parents are unwilling to spend the money but unable due to other restraints on them. I personally have never come from a rich family but my parents always made sure I had the right equipment and the league fees were always paid whether it be by picking up extra shifts at work or spending less on themselves. I have always been grateful for this because some of the best memories in my life to date have been on a sheet of ice.
Playing any sport involves a major time commitment from the players. No one ever really tells the parents how much of a commitment they will be making as well because they are also stuck at the rink with the kids and they aren't even playing. The parents never complain about going to watch their kids play no matter how cold the rinks may be, the joy their kids give them by playing and the smile on their faces after games or practices can make any parent forget about temperatures. My parents have always been at the rinks for me whether it be my dad, who would sit their during practice noticing things I did to correct or find ways to make me better, or my mom, who would love to go to my games and cheer on as a part of the crowd. Time commitments also affect our families as well. Little brothers and sisters are most times dragged to freezing cold rinks and stuck giving up their days unless a babysitter is found. Growing up my Grandmother became the worlds best babysitter whose only payment needed was her grand kids smiles. To this day she still enjoys hearing of game outcomes and personal stats. We never realize that players are the only ones making sacrifices when having to go to practice or a game. If not for our parents willingness to sacrifice we would not even be there.
I would like to end this post with a giant thanks to all those who do so much for us as players so we can continue to play this sport we love. Parents, siblings, volunteers, etc. you are the reason we are able to play and enjoy this game so much. So for all of the times we forget, Thank You!
From the Box,