If I get Bitten by a Vampire, does that mean I’m a Vampire?
One of the best hockey stories I’ve heard was told by a friend of mine about his son. For the purpose of this story I’ll call my friend Tom, and his son will be Christopher. I was at a hockey event when Tom got up to speak. The event was about making the game better for our youth. He had heard me talk about the lessons from my book and the message of a more positive atmosphere in the rink for the kids. He wanted to tell his own story of what his son taught him about the game. It was a moment that offered him perspective on the rest of his son’s playing days as well as his own career.
And the story goes….
Tom was coaching Christopher’s team and was loving every minute of it. Chris was only nine-years-old but had already found a love for the game that Tom knew all too well. They lived out West so they had many long car rides through some terrible weather, but neither complained of the time it took to get to the rink. They loved their time to be together. Tom was as excited as Chris was every time someone on the team scored or if they won a game.
At the end of one particularly good season, they had made it to the playoffs, playing for that ever-important number one spot. The team was doing so well and they were headed to their final game. Tom talked to Chris about the importance of trying his hardest and being a team player. He really felt his son was hanging on his every word. Finally, they arrived at the rink and Tom felt they were both on the same page and ready to go.
The game started and the team skated out like a shot. It was so exciting as the score was close through all three periods. It came down to the last few minutes of the third period and the game was tied. The coaches were motivating their team as best they could. They wanted them to win so badly because they didn’t want them to have to feel the disappointment of losing such a big game. All of a sudden, a player from the other team broke free on a breakaway and scored. Seconds later, the buzzer went and the game was over. They had lost in the final game and didn’t win the championship.
After the game, Tom could see the disappointment in all of the boy’s eyes. He described that moment as devastating for him and the rest of the coaching staff as well. They went into the dressing room and gave the team a pep talk. Tom was feeling so bad about the game that he told Christopher he could have his best friend and teammate over for a sleepover. He thought that might cheer him up. As they walked out of the rink, dragging their hockey bags, he could see they were having a pretty important conversation. Tom leaned in a little closer in order to hear their feelings about the game. As he got close enough to hear, Christopher turned to his friend and said, “I have something to ask you…do you think if you get bit by a vampire, that means you’re a vampire?” As he stood in shock, he started to laugh to himself. All of the disappointment he was trying to save his boy from had already subsided. They were over it! These two nine-year old boys had more perspective than the parents who were upset about losing the championships.
Tom ended his story by saying, “Those boys taught me that kids can move on from losses much quicker than adults can. If you’re feeling more upset over games than your kids are, you might have to remember to focus on the really important things like, ‘If you get bit by a vampire, does that mean you’re a vampire?’
- Written by Allyson Tufts