A Letter to My Hockey Team + Ways to Stay Connected
For this cycle’s article, I wanted to do something a little different. With my hockey season coming to an end, there comes a period of misery, nostalgia and extreme boredom following the dwindling number of practices and games. I present: a letter to my team. I hope others whose team is a second family and has a season nearing an end can relate. Afterward, I’ll list some tips on how to stay connected with your team during the off season.
I don’t even know where to start. You all are like a second family. From warmups at the crack of dawn in the cold parking lots of Minnesota to circuits in the pouring rain to late night practices in the dreaded Rink 3 to fervent karaoke sessions, I couldn't have asked for a more exhilarating season amidst a global pandemic. I don’t think we all realized how incredibly lucky we were to be together playing the sport we love until (what felt like) the world was pulled out from under our skates. You all were there for me when I was at my lowest. You all taught me what it means to be valued, heard, seen and reminded me of the wonders karaoke or a hug can do. Through all the victories and tough losses this year, we were always one. I could go on about what I’ll miss and how I feel as if a part of me was torn out, but I’d rather reminisce on our memories and cherish the short but sweet time we had together. Every song I hear will remind me of cold parking lots and oddly warm ice rinks. Every sunset brings a sad smile to my face knowing that you all aren’t next to me. I write this with a heavy heart but full of love. I hope years down the road, when we pass by one another, we can share a smile over the good times we had together and the fact that we’ll never be this young again.
Here are some ways to stay connected with your teammates after the season is over:
Check in on them often! Remind your teammates how grateful you are for them.
Schedule team facetimes/hangouts (team hikes are my favorite).
Create a collaborative playlist, and encourage your teammates to add songs from the season to it.
Practice your sport with a teammate or two! Reserve an empty practice area and workout with your teammates.