Hockey is a whirlwind of adrenaline, camaraderie, and sheer joy, but like any passion, there might come times when the fun fades. Fun in a tough sport like hockey is not the same as Disneyland 'fun'. Fun can be from growth. Fun can come from a challenging practice. Fun can come from laughing on the bench with teammates.
But seasons can be long, mental blocks can pop up for the best of us...and sometimes the gap between those earned 'fun' times start to feel bigger and bigger.
If you're feeling this way, it's vital to pinpoint the reasons to reignite that spark.
1. **High Pressure**: The desire to excel, be it from oneself, parents, or coaches, can convert the game from an activity of joy to a stressful job. It's crucial to remember why you started— for the love of the game.
2. **Comparison**: In an age of social media and instant highlights, it's easy to compare your journey with others. This can create feelings of inadequacy. Remember, everyone has their unique pace and path. Yours is your own.
3. **Repetitive Routine**: Just as with anything in life, doing the same drills or playing in the same position can be effective, but at times can become monotonous. Mixing things up, trying to learn a new skill, or introducing varied drills can reignite the excitement.
4. **Team Dynamics**: The essence of hockey lies in teamwork. If there's a disconnect with teammates or issues in the locker room, it can affect your enjoyment. Engaging in team bonding activities or open conversations can be beneficial.
5. **Fear of Failure**: The fear of making mistakes or letting the team down can be paralyzing. Embrace the idea that mistakes are a part of growth. Enjoy the learning process. Remember, you are a work in progress.
6. **Physical Strain**: Consistent fatigue, unnoticed injuries, or lack of proper nutrition and recovery can make playing feel like a chore. Ensure you're taking care of your body off the ice as much as on it. Reach out to us about nutrition, fueling, and supplementation.
7. **Rediscovering your Why**: Take a moment to reflect on why you began playing. Was it the thrill of the game, the friendships, or the early morning rink sessions? Reconnecting with your initial love can reignite the passion.
If hockey feels more like a task than a treat, it might be a sign to shake things up. Now - 'fun' in hockey isn't always fun for a normal person - that is important to remember. Sometimes the toughest practices & hardest sessions are the ones we remember most. Sometimes. But if an off day turns into an off month, it's better to step in before it leaves a mark on your entire season.
No matter what, remember that at its core, hockey is a game— it's meant to be fun. Embrace every moment, cherish the on-ice memories, and let your love for the sport guide you.