What Every Hockey Fan Is Thinking Toward The End Of Summer

What Every Hockey Fan Is Thinking Toward The End Of Summer

Is it October yet?
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Everyone loves summer. Summer is a great season to vacation, go swimming, pick up some extra shifts, relax, and watch baseball. Baseball. Ugh.

Now, Imma let baseball finish this season, but hockey season is the greatest season of the year.

I live for hockey season. The ice cold hockey rink. The sound of the skates on the ice. The smell of salty pretzels and chicken tenders at the concessions. The spontaneous fights on the ice. The unplanned hat tricks. The cheering of the crowd. The fog horn when there's a goal. The happy drunk fans. The team colors across the stands. The friends made in the seats next to you. I love all of it.

After the Stanely Cup is hoisted in June, there isn't much to do until October. June to October are months of a lot of training and a lot of trading. Work hard, play hard, amirite?

Trading can be difficult. I don't know how other people see their hockey teams, but my team is like family. When they get traded, it can be so heartbreaking. Then we have to get to know all new boys in our colors and on our ice. It's weird.

I love this sport. Hockey is a sport I could never play myself, but I could watch for hours. It is intense, dynamic, tough, and fast-paced. Hockey pumps adrenaline in my veins. Hockey makes me scream at the top of my lungs. Hockey is hands down the best sport in the world.

June to October is a long five months. I miss Wednesday Night Rivalry. I miss outdoor hockey such as the Stadium Series and Winter Classic. I miss the anxiety I get in the final seconds of OT. I miss wearing my jersey. I miss the victory honks in the parking garage. I miss hockey.

Summer is fun and all, but I can't wait for hockey season. Is it October yet?

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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