Whether it is the New Year, the holidays, or just the opportunity to look back, life presents us with a chance to take stock of all we have. One of my all-time favorite books (and movies) is Pay It Forward. The story revolves around a boy’s class project, the concept of what we can realize if we pass on the good that comes to us. Many of us have been given a great many gifts. I’ll speak for myself and say many of my greatest gifts have come through sport. In the spirit of passing on what we have and the chance to give back, I offer a list of how we can play it forward. In no particular order:
1. Shake your opponents’ hands after every game.
2. Encourage your teammates (even after they’ve screwed up and especially if it resulted in a goal).
3. Coach a youth team.
4. Train hard when you don’t feel like it.
5. Let your teammates know when they’ve done something good in training (even when it’s scoring on you).
6. Take a younger keeper under your wing. Train with them. Go to their games, encourage them.
7. Pass on your old equipment.
8. If you’ve got equipment that you’re going to throw out, salvage what’s usable, buckles, straps, bolts, screws, etc. Give it to a youth program.
9. If you’re handy, offer to help them repair their gear.
10. Show a younger keeper how to take care of their equipment.
11. Support your country’s national team.
13. Don’t yell at umpires.
14. Thank an umpire for their time and efforts.
15. Thank your coach.
16. Live with passion.
17. Add to this list.
I’m indebted to a number of people through hockey who’ve helped me along the way as a coach, a player and a person. Now there are too many to list here, but thank you all. Special thanks to Simon and Mike and all the folks at OBO. Not only do they work to make better hockey players with their equipment, they make hockey better through their work.
All the best in 2008,
Goalkeepers are amazing people!!!
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