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Your Experience is Your Choice

By Zoe M. Harris, 03/15/14, 2:30PM PDT


If you were asked, “What makes hockey worth playing?” and your response had to be a single sentence – what would your answer be?

Each week WWFHA players put a lot into their hockey. It takes passion and dedication to be successful in the sport and your attitude each and every day impacts the end result and your overall experience.

And, that goes for parents too. Families invest a great deal of time into the game — driving to practices and games sometimes takes hours to get where you are trying to go before you even step on the ice.

At each ice sheet, players are faced with situations they didn’t plan on, but they still need to succeed despite the challenges. Maybe they are exhausted from the week, worried about a test in school, facing a short bench, or a missing player due to injury or illness.

How you face these challenges determines what the end result will be at the conclusion of a practice or game and the overall experience. If you face the ice each and every time you step on it with a positive, can-do attitude, then the final result will be that much better. Approaching a practice with positive energy will help you and your teammates learn more and improve a great deal faster.

But, if you step on the ice dragging your feet, thinking that the challenge you see is too much (short bench, missing player or just being tired), having a bad attitude and giving into adversity — then the end result will be negative for you and everyone around you. Negative thinking, attitudes and behaviors spread like a virus and can ruin a practice, a game, and even an entire season.

Change and challenges are constants in the sport of ice hockey and in life. How you deal with them is up to you. Either you can choose to get caught up in the negative and let it ruin each experience on and off the ice, or you can choose to face forward with passion, keeping your attitude positive and your eyes on your goals for the best chance of success and a great time with your teammates.

You have control; the effects of these choices reverberate through your teammates, coaches, practices, games, full season, and even your families.

Which makes more sense to you? What is your choice going to be?

Written by: Zoë M. Harris -- she grew up sailing and playing soccer in Rhode Island and later switched to ice hockey while at the University of Maine (’88-‘92). She has been a coach and administrator in the sport of hockey for over 20 years, most notably for the University of Washington men’s team (‘98 – ‘04) where the coaching staff were the first females to coach men’s college ice hockey. Zoë co-founded the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Women’s Division (‘00) and served as the Vice President for 4 years where members created the ‘Zoë M. Harris Player of the Year’ award in her honor. She was also recently inducted into the ACHA Hall of Fame (‘14) and received the ‘Builder Award.’ Zoë currently serves on the WWFHA Board. In the real world, she works for a high tech start-up in Seattle as the Director of Product Management.