Archive for the ‘Hockey’ Category

Did you know that today in 1992, the National Hockey League Players began their first strike after 75 years in the league?

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We all enjoy watching our team win. If we play the sport that we watch (I have only tried playing on a hockey table game. Do you play hockey for leisure?) then we recognize how much hard work, discipline, and sacrifice is put in that single game. However, professional sports have gone a long way from just playing for the game. As it is, they are called “professional sports” because the players are payed for their performance – being an athlete has become their “profession.”

Shouldn’t Professional Athletes be Paid for their Skills and Talent?
We can argue that these players deserve to be paid because of their talent, skill, and dedication. But sometimes, this incentive becomes the motivation for the players’ whining.

Throughout the years in sports, teams and even individual athletes threaten not to play unless their demands were met – and these demands usually involves (getting more) money. Labor unions got involved and by forming player associations such as MLB, NBA, NFL, and the NHL, these athletes have been having more ‘power’ to demand their wants. This results in what we know as either a strike by the players or a ‘lockout’ by the owners.

The 1992 NHL strike lasted for 10 days and ended with unresolved issues. 2 years later, NHL had a worse lockout which reduced the games from 84 to 48.

Here are 9 Most Significant Strikes and Lockouts in Pro Sports History


Why do Professional Athletes Hold Strikes and Lockouts?
It all usually boils down to money but issues such as playing conditions, benefits and feeling that the owners are unfair are also common reasons for staging these strikes. No matter what the reason may be, these whining and complaining costs lost games, discouraged fans, and even broken relationships between athletes and managers.

Athletes ought to play for the love of the game. They used to, and many still do. But some act like spoiled brats forgetting their fans and teammates and the contract they already signed to ask for new demands and opportunities. Athletes become self-centered and egoistic. They won’t ask for more money if they don’t think that they deserve to be paid more. In the American Hockey League (AHL), the minimum salary that a player can receive in 2012-2013 is $32,500. However, there is no maximum salary that they can earn.


What makes an Athlete a Winner?
No one likes a player who always complains and whines. Surely, being a whiner is not a characteristic of a winner. The character of athletes is seen in what he or she prioritizes. Yes, the discipline, hard work, and sacrifice that athletes give for their sport is priceless, but getting the rewards should not be the focus when playing sports. There are lots of values that can be learned through Sports. Children and Teens look up to their ‘sports idols‘ as an example.

What Values can the Youth Learn through Sports and How?

Above is a link to a blog about what values that the youth can learn through organized sports. It listed discipline, hard work, sacrifice, dealing with success and failures, striving for goals, prioritization, and overcoming adversity. Another value that I think is very important but is usually neglected in the sports world today is “Humility.” All the praises and fame that a athletes can receive makes them forget how they should keep their feet on the ground. Unique skills are adored. Displayed brutal talent is admired. Humility is forgotten and sometimes thought to be for the losing ones.

Being humble doesn’t mean that we should not stick to what is right and fair even if the conditions are really bad. Humility is about thinking less of ourselves and honoring others in our team which includes our teammates, coaches, fans, and even managers. Ralph Sockman noted something worth remembering about Humility:
“True humility is intelligent self-respect which keeps us from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves.
It makes us modest by reminding us how far we have come short of what we can be.”

It is awesome to see how a player can do amazing stunts that others struggle to do, but it is more wonderful to see people go beyond their own comfort to make the life of others more meaningful. Only a humble person can do that. Only humble athletes can play in spite of hard opposition and difficult circumstances that put them down.

Do you feel like whining when things don’t go your way?
Do you quit easily when walk out when you get hurt or things seem unfair?

Be a winner, not a whiner!


This post may be a bit late as the less familiar Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games had their closing ceremony almost two weeks ago, but I believe it’s not too late to be inspired by these amazing athletes who did not let anything keep them from doing their best.

It is only the 11th Paralympic Winter Games held for athletes with disabilities under the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The Games featured 72 medal events in five known sports from the Olympics, and is the first Paralympic that held a snowboarding event. Amidst the stark international tension regarding the country’s intervention in Crimea, Ukraine the Paralympic Games went on. Canada stayed in top 3 with a total of 16 medals having 7 of them Gold. The host country had 30 Gold medals from 80 medals in total which kept them in first place. Forty-five National Paralympic Committees joined in Sochi 2014 Paralympic winter games with Brazil, Turkey, and Uzbekistan joining for the first time.

Here are some notable quotes from the athletes who overcame obstacles to reach their goals:

Brian McKeever wins his 10th career gold medal.

“It’s all about my own shape and knowing [that] if I’m going to be half decent or a bag of wet towels: You don’t know that until you start racing and pushing.”
Brian McKeever, Canada’s cross-country skier and biathlete who began skiing at the age of thirteen. He lost his vision at the age of 19 due to Stargardt’s disease. He won gold in men’s 20km visually impaired cross-country skiing race in Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games.


If we all looked the same, it would be a boring world.

Oksana Masters is a Ukranian-born Paralympic rower and cross-country skier from the U.S. Nordic Skiing Team. She was born with several radiation-induced birth defects including different leg length, missing shin bones, webbed fingers with no thumb, and six toes on each foot. She was sadly abandoned by her birth parents at a Ukrainian orphanage until 7 years old. Then she was adopted by Gay Masters, a professor who had no children of her own.


Obviously at the end of the day, it’s not what we came here for, but for the rest of my life, I’m never going to remember [Vancouver Olympics]. I’m going to remember that big hunking medal that we’re going to get on our necks in a couple of hours and what it means to bring a medal home for Canada.
Billy Bridges is a Canadian ice sledge hockey player who has spina bifida, a congenital disorder that causes the spinal cord to remain unfused and open, sometimes protruding through the bones. He and the Canadian team won the ice sledge hockey bronze medal in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games.


You can read other quotes from the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games here.


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