It is Thanksgiving weekend once again. A time for family and friends, sports on television and hockey tournaments in every rink. All of these should be enjoyable pastimes. Lately there have been an overabundance of bad penalties, injuries and Zero Tolerance complaints. We have the opportunity to turn the tide this weekend.
Remember, above all the games should be safe and fun. I know it can be a grind for the families. There are early games wedged between our families’ other activities and parents wondering why on their days off they seem to be busier than a regular work day. Playing hockey should not be considered a job. At most levels these tournaments are a chance to hopefully see a wider field of competitors and measure how individuals and teams are progressing. The outcome will not affect the entire season for any individual team and should not be “life or death” in any way, shape or form. Please, keep the games in perspective.
Parents, cheer, encourage and comfort where necessary. Players, enjoy the fun of trying your best to play hockey the way the game was meant to be played; for the joy of the game, your teammates, the feeling of pride in having your family see you play your best; displaying your skills with integrity knowing that the other team is your competition not your enemy.
You will be faced with countless decisions throughout the games. Pass, shoot, dump the puck; as well as make contact the proper way where you and your opposition are both safe. Where you are unsure that the contact you make may put your opponent in danger, choose to be safe. Remember that you don’t want to be that player who ended someone else’s season, or worse. Win and lose with class and dignity, treat the game and everyone in it with the respect that you would ask for yourself. Represent your family and your team and most importantly yourself as a great example of a quality player and person.