Nothing I’ve ever done has consumed me like coaching hockey. Nothing even comes close.
When I began I read everything I could get my hands on. I connected with people from any English speaking country who could teach me anything. I was a sponge…driven to learn more so I could help my teams.
I’d long been a student and fan of the game, but I never played. Regularly I’d joke with players that I simply had a hockey Rolodex that would trump anybody they knew. Bulletin boards, forums and every obscure hockey website were regularly visited by me as I made notes and obsessed with things I could pass on to my players.
The roller hockey scene of 20 years ago hit. Warm weather locations like Texas, California and Florida were embracing the sport with grand enthusiasm. I dove headlong into that area of hockey at the time because it was virgin territory and the old head ice hockey guys had a strong prejudice against it. I didn’t.
When USA Hockey in Colorado Springs realized the inline version of the game was an opportunity to expose more young players to a great game – they began to bring order and organization to the sport. The Executive Director at the time recruited me to become a Regional Director, a completely volunteer position that I happily accepted because coaching was that important to me.
Over time I coached countless kids, from 6 year olds to college guys.* And I loved every minute of it, even dealing with obnoxious, idiotic parents. Because I had a bigger purpose. A more important compelling reason. I wanted to impart a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of wisdom and a whole lot of life lessons to the players.
My aim was high. To be memorable by helping them achieve more than they might be able to without my help.
I was fully devoted to them, and to the sport.
Coaching hockey has, for years, been the barometer for me whenever I’m looking at my own passions and trying to answer today’s question. Maybe there’s something in your life that serves you like that. I’d love to report that it has helped me clarify things, but it hasn’t. Some days it only serves to confuse me further. And for a guy like me, confusion comes easily so I don’t need any more help in that department.
Look deeply into your life. Look into your past. Carefully consider today’s question. There are three more coming behind it. My hope is that we can work through these questions and learn more about ourselves. Along the way perhaps we can figure out some ways to earn more money because money is the fuel that helps us maintain our passions, and our causes. We need money to support the causes we care most about.
Question 1: What Do You Care Most About?
* Note: The photo was taken of me coaching the roller team of the University of Texas at Arlington during a college national championship tournament. I coached this UTA team for four years. They were, deservedly, the last team I ever coached.