I know some of you are gearing up for playoffs and some of you are pretty sure you’re heading into “Second Season”. In a home with a competitive husband and an even more competitive goalie, we gave second season a different name and it referred to something you find in your bathroom. As a hockey Mom, I referred to it as, “NO STRESS HOCKEY” and I’m the first one to admit that I loved it. (I say this secretly praying that my son will never read this article). For me, it selfishly meant feeling a bit more relaxed if he got scored on, if we didn’t win and/or if he sat on the bench for a game. It also meant that I could sit through the whole game and not go to the car if we were in the third period and the game was tied.
I had never really asked my son in the moment what he thought of playing second season because I was always too busy having my own party in my head. When I decided to write this, I wanted to find out how he felt about it, and his answer surprised me. He told me that when he played, even though they hadn’t made the playoffs, he still wanted to play hard. He went on to say he was definitely more relaxed but when he hit the ice, he still wanted to compete.
He reminded me of his minor midget year when they didn’t make the playoffs. It was a month before the OHL draft and some of the guys had no interest in playing second season because their mind was on the draft and they were ready to move on. He remembered playing a game and some scouts and coaches from our local OHL team showed up. Even though they lost that game, he had played well. It wasn’t long after that he was called to a meeting with the staff of that OHL team and he was drafted. The coaching staff and scouts were there to watch him. It didn’t matter to them that the team was out of the playoffs, they were still recruiting. He reminded me that if he wouldn’t have taken that game seriously, things could have turned out very differently.
As a coach now, he is reminded of that moment when he works at motivating his team. Admittedly he said playing in the playoffs is always the goal. He said, “You always want to be competing to be your best with the best.” He tells his players that you’re always playing for pride, no matter what and he reminds them at this point in the season that they’re playing for that spot on the team next year.
It made me think of so many situations in life when you aren’t necessarily where you want to be, sometimes we go back a few steps in order to move forward in the future. There are times when, in our careers, we are second for the promotion, our great idea isn’t selected, or we mess up as parents and don’t end up where we thought we were headed. What I learned from my conversation with my son is that these aren’t moments for giving up, or to decide that the dream we had for that situation is over. It’s simply a time to regroup, get back up and keep trying.
So, instead of thinking that all is lost if you don’t make the playoffs maybe look at it another way. Maybe we should call “Second Season” the “Second Chance.” A chance to look forward to a new opportunity. Every game is a chance to show them what you’ve got and more importantly every game is a chance to show yourself what you’ve got.
- Written by Allyson Tufts