Thanks for coming out… Dealing with Hockey Rejection
It’s that time of year again. Most leagues are making their final cuts and the excitement and enthusiasm of a new season for some is tempered by the disappointment of crushed dreams of other unlucky souls. Even with the best laid plans of mice and men, sometimes things just do not work out as planned. There is no worse feeling then being called in to the Coaches office during training camp or after an exhibition game.
After 9 years as a professional in this business, when a client is released, I really don’t need to ask why? Oh, I typically do because you need to know if the player has legitimate holes in his game. The reason I don’t need to is that the rationale given by the team is normally nonsensical or a stock explanation that really doesn’t tell you anything of value. The truth is your release is usually related to other issues beyond simple goals, assists or skating deficiencies. More times than not, it real is a numbers game or bad timing. Or sometimes, you just aren’t good enough to play at this level right now.
I’d like to think that I’m not too jaded, however it’s hard not to be when year after year, I deal with rejection and my clients varied reactions to it, in what seems to be a never ending cycle of despair or triumph.
For example, in the agent side of the business, when I lose a client, emotionally, it’s often like going through a breakup or divorce. That might sound a bit melodramatic, but the longer the relationship, the harder the separation anxiety and emotional scars. By extension, the more a player has invested in the team and league that he is trying out for, the harder the fall.
It is true that there is something to be gained from rising up from defeat; it is after all, the ultimate character builder.
As much as it may hurt emotionally or psychologically the reason ultimately doesn’t matter. The important thing is what to do next. You have to pick up your emotional jigsaw pieces and get ready for the next chapter in your hockey career.
Don’t let this setback define who you are or make you question your future hockey career. Just because you got overlooked for the ‘Rep’ team this year or cut from Junior A, all is not lost. It just means that you have to start over and find another way in, even if it means your ego or pride take a bit of a beating in the short term.
Remember, we will all be fired or rejected in our careers, learn what you can, improve in whatever areas you think are fixable and then get back out there and try again. In the end, after being cut, you need to take the right amount of time to grieve but be ready to move on to the next opportunity as soon as possible with the right mindset.