Thursday, August 5, 2010

Taking it from a hockey player – Post #3

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Every year around this time there’s a buzz in NHL circles regarding the upcoming entry draft for the new crop of rookies coming up. Especially for the top five picks, which go to the crappiest teams. Last year my favorite team picked first, one of the most highly anticipated players ever. It suggests that things can get better.

It also tells you what kind of year I’d just had.

We drafted “JT” around the time I started hosting parties, and it seems we’ve been sharing a comparable experience: the ups and downs, with some of the same lessons. We each had a strong fall and a very strong spring, while last January we were each going through a scoring drought.

With such high expectations, JT was often asked how he thought he was doing, and he spoke mostly about just playing the best he could; learning all he could, from all the players and games he could. The veteran players, the “graybeards,” spoke of how he needed to learn to manage the highs and lows: not to get too high after a win, nor too low after a loss. And overcoming obstacles.

These are lessons this 41-year-old is really just learning now. There are peaks and valleys with anything, particularly those things which are new, like a new venture. I’m like JT, one of those players who wants to win every game, to score a hat trick every game.

OK so I like the highs better.

JT had a great rookie season, even if he didn’t score the most goals in the league. Those of us who have patience with the puck can grin at the fact that there are many winning seasons to look forward to.

With a lot of goals.