What is the one thing you think of when I mention Canada? I’m sure you could name many things. Maybe stuff like it’s always cold, maple syrup, and potentially that we are very nice people. While all of those things are mostly true, our country is also known for being very good at ice hockey. While it is accurate that Canada is infamously known for ice hockey, what is maybe not known is the community and teamwork that surrounds the sport.
Ever since I was young, I have always watched ice hockey. My grandfather was actually one of the people that influenced me to take up the sport. I remember being little and watching the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins, absolutely loving how fast-paced and intense the games were. Something about the sport really sparked an interest in me, and the more I started to watch it, the more I began to love it. You could also probably say that because I am born and raised in Canada, hockey was embedded in me at a very young age since it is a part of the Canadian culture.
I specifically remember one of the most incredible Canadian hockey goals of all time at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. It is known as the “Golden Goal,” and if you ask any Canadian where they were when it happened, they will probably tell you exactly where they were and who they were with. When watching the gold medal game (Canada vs. the USA), I kept thinking how fun it would be to be a part of a team in a championship final. After watching that game and celebrating team Canada’s victory, I talked to my family. I told them I wanted to play hockey.
That was the beginning of one of the best decisions I have ever made!
Ice hockey is viewed very differently by many people. Still, for me, it was all about cooperation, motivation, competing, and ultimately friendship. In my years of playing hockey, I grew a lot. I saw myself building my communication and collaboration skills, and I learned how to be a team player. All of the attributes are what I carry with me today. Being able to grow up in a competitive environment has helped me develop my motivational skills as well. Remember when I said I wanted to be a part of a team playing in a championship game going for gold? Well, fast forward about 3 years, and I saw myself in that same position. I was a part of a team that was going for the championship title. The motivation to win that gold medal was unlike anything I experienced.
The atmosphere that was surrounding that game was intense. All my teammates were so motivated to go out there and bring home the gold. During these games, I learned that being motivated and staying positive while pursuing a goal was the key to success. With the nail-biter of a game my team played, we came home with the… GOLD MEDAL! The feeling of winning my first championship game was exhilarating. I was so excited! That was just the first of 7 championships I won throughout my hockey career. The only reason why this was possible was because of all the motivation, cooperation, communication, and teamwork that my hockey team displayed.
All these skills I learned throughout my hockey career have made me the person I am today. I have become an effective communicator and collaborator, as well as a leader. I am currently a part of the student council for my designated program at university, and all of these skills have continuously helped me succeed in this position. These attributes have also helped me to be a team member at work. All of these successes and characteristic developments all came down to one thing, ice hockey.
For anyone reading this and is potentially trying to figure out whether they should try hockey, I say go for it! It has helped me immensely to become the positive and outgoing person I am. It is a challenging sport to take up, but you can do it if you continue to stay motivated. Always think positively and always believe you can do something. I promise you, you can do anything you put your mind to.
Just stick with it, you’ll get there 🙂
To find out more about Katie, check out her Instagram @katies_studentdiary