Here are two incredible letters written by different fathers at two key points in their player’s hockey lives.
The first is a letter to a coach from a father who is sending his child onto the ice for the very first time…
A FATHER’S WISH
Tomorrow morning my son starts hockey. He’s going to step out on the ice and his great adventure that will probably include joys and disappointments begins. So I wish you would take him by his young hand and teach him the things he will have to know . Teach him to respect the referee and that his judgement is final. Teach him not to hate his competitors, but to admire their skill. Teach him it is just as important to be a playmaker and get an assist as it is to score a goal. Teach him to play as a team and never to be selfish. Teach him never to blame his goaltender when a goal is scored against him, because five mistakes were made before the puck got to the goalie. Teach him that winning is not everything, but trying to win is. Teach him it is far more honorable to lose than it is to cheat. Teach him to close his ears to the howling mob and to stand up for himself if he thinks he is right. Teach him gently but don’t coddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
This is a big order, Coach, and I place my son in your hands. See what you can do for him . He is such a nice little fellow
- His Dad
Finally, here is an awesome letter from a dad to his son as he is about to finish hockey. The son was quoted as saying “this is what its all about.”
Has it really been 18 years since I first took you skating? It feels like it was yesterday. I can remember the very first time, and the look on your face as you struggled to balance on those skates.
Has it really been 16 seasons of watching you play? Where has the time gone, how many hundreds of hours have we spent at the rink and in the car? How many trips to Tim Hortons have we made?
I find it hard to believe now, that in a few short weeks it will all come to an end. The practices, the games, the trips to buy new gear in the summer, and all the camps.
While there is a part of me that is tremendously sad that it is ending, I would not trade the sadness I feel for anything in the world. I am sad not only because of the end, but because I know how you will feel a year from now.
While it would be easy for me to be selfish and complain about it ending, I can only hope you can find a way to replace what you have always known as routine. While you may be leaving the game as a competitive player, the game should always be a part of you. The memories you have should last a lifetime. The friends you have made will always be your friends.
Take these last games and relish every minute of them. Play with a passion that will allow you to let the game go as a player and remain full with the memories it has given you. Hockey may no longer consume you, but it will always be a part of you. As you walk away, know that one day you will come back.
This is a circle. It is a family thing. One day I hope you will experience the sadness I feel today with your own son. Why? Because there is joy behind the sadness.
Through this adventure we have taken as a family, you have grown into a man. A man that any parent would be proud of. You have a future, you understand rules, and you know what it is to be a team player. You have learned to give back, and you understand what it takes to push yourself beyond what you thought you could achieve.
My joy in having watched you grow into the person that you are today will outweigh the sadness of watching these last games knowing they will be the last. My joy will one day be in watching you tie your sons skates as you pass on this tradition.
I am proud of you. Thank you for allowing me to come along this journey with you. I wouldnt trade one minute of this experience for anything.