So. It’s early in the season, and there is talk amongst your team about going to play in Lake Placid.
Hmmmm. The travel, the expense, missed school, 15 hockey players in a hotel, the expense, what about the siblings? The expense. Yes, all that and more. It’s not a decision you should take lightly.
You should think twice…
Yes, indeed. Think twice. Make your list of pros and cons. Consider it carefully. Then DO IT ANYWAY!
I have been to Lake Placid twice. The first time was in the summer, just my nephew and me. It was a side trip, while traveling in upstate New York. We were too close not to take the pilgrimage to hockey’s holy land.
Immediately after walking into Herb Brooks Arena, my mind was back in 1980. I saw Mike Eruzione jump the boards, grab the loose puck, and beat the Soviet goaltender. As the team pig-piled in celebration, I heard Al Michaels raise his question, “Do you believe in miracles?!” I saw Jim Craig skating to the boards, draped in an American Flag. I read his lips again, “Where’s my fathah?” Even reading his lips in my memory, Craig still has a Boston accent.
After moments of silence, while these scenes replayed in my mind’s eye, my nephew turned to me and said, “We have to play here.”
He was right. Seeing the rink. Recounting the memories. To know the opportunity exists and not take advantage of it, just seemed like a… like a… crime.
For several years, I’ve tried to get teams—both boys and girls teams–to go to Lake Placid. But it never worked out. Even after getting some folks on-board, the negative Nancys reared their heads and ultimately won out. Excuses always seemed to gain more traction than opportunity.
This year was different! Our team went to Lake Placid in March of 2017. It was my second visit to Lake Placid, and our first CAN/AM hockey tournament. I can’t wait to do both again.
I’m not sure why it worked this year. I presented it differently—I guess. I did sell it harder. Lots of side conversations. Lots of back door deals. Doesn’t really matter how it happened. It just mattered that it did happen. I was our team’s representative, which is fairly involved. So, I can tell you—first hand—the experience is worth the work.
If you’re a parent, a coach, a team manager, when this conversation comes-up, jump on it. Seize the opportunity. Find a way to make it work. If you are able, help find a way to make it work for a teammate. The sacrifices you make for this trip is a small investment. It will pay dividends for years to come!
The Miracle is cemented in history. That will never be undone, and its legacy lives on. Magic happens every time a youth hockey player steps on that large sheet of ice. Magic is what every parent feels when their player walks through the gate, just as Eruzione, Craig, Dave Christian, Bob Johnson, and the rest of the crew did nearly four decades ago. Magic is miracle’s legacy. Accepting a CAN/AM tournament invitation is the first step in the magical process. The added work is worth it. The sacrifice is worth it. And if you’re team works hard, and is lucky, maybe—just maybe—your magic will blossom into a miracle.
So think twice. Think of all the reasons you shouldn’t agree to Lake Placid. When all the thinking is done… DO IT ANYWAY!