Having Fun With Hockey
The team sport of ice hockey is played in many countries around the world and many different forms, whether it be on the ice, on a field, or just on the street with a couple of friends. We also see it played as a professional sport in the National Hockey League, but is this sport actually fun to play?
The sport of hockey is a fun and enjoyable game that is enjoyed by many worldwide. The most common reasons why it is fun is the competitive game aspect, the people you meet and travel to different cities with, the lessons you learn, and the skills you will foster and develop.
While it shouldn’t take too much convincing as to why this sport is considered fun by us and by many others, we have compiled a list of the thirteen reasons we think it is a lot of fun. Keep reading the list below to find out what these reasons are, and maybe you, too, will join us in our love for the sport of hockey.
One thing that is the key to making any sport or game fun is the competitive aspect that comes with it and the ability to either win or lose the game based on a set of actions and decisions that you and your team make. The same competitive aspect exists in hockey, where two teams play against each other and the team that scores the most goals against the other team at the end of three periods is the winner.
However, it typically consists of a lot more than just one-off games. The hockey season usually consists of multiple tournaments that lead up to playoffs and the championships where your team gets to take home a bunch of gold medals when you win and celebrate with a delicious meal after the big win.
All in all, it is a high-speed, high-intensity, and skill-based sport that comes alongside some exhilarating goals and moments of pure joy. The community created within a hockey game as a result of the sides that are taken is unmatchable and is demonstrated through the die-hard fans you will see who follow the NHL games very closely.
However, nothing can beat the feeling of being the one on the ice, as you skate across the surface with the puck, and you know very well that when you make it to the net and score a goal, the whole crowd will stand up, scream, and cheer all because of you.
At the heart of it all, one of the most rewarding aspects of playing hockey and the key factors that lead to it being a fun sport to play is the team of people you get to play alongside with. Also, you get to play as an important member of the team.
While some players may be more favoured because they get more opportunities to score, the defensemen and goalies are a critical aspect of the team as, without them, many of the shots would go in with no defence.
Being part of a hockey team also gives you a level of confidence and feeling of importance as you can really play a key role as long as you are on the ice. When it comes to hockey, everyone needs to be on the same page and play together. No matter your team’s position, everyone on the ice has a chance to prove their worth and be an amazing part of the team.
What comes along with all the lifelong relationships you will form with your team and late nights spent at hotels during weekend hockey tournaments is the unique culture that is created within your team and all hockey teams you play on, for that matter. This culture is filled with plenty of laughs, team traditions, and an overall team camaraderie that will always be unmatched.
One of the most famous aspects of the unique hockey culture that is created within a team is the jargon and hockey slang that has been developed as a result of it. From being “for the boys”, and getting to be the “beauty” that scores a “clapper” as the winning goal, there are plenty of unique moments that can only be found in a hockey team’s dressing room.
Some other aspects of the hockey culture that are formed include the many traditions and player superstitions you get to be a part of or create for yourself. Some of these include having to grow a playoff beard or bleaching your hair for a tournament.
Possibly even participating in or creating your own odd pre-game rituals like that of amazing NHL goalie Eddie “The Eagle” Belfour, who wouldn’t let anyone else touch his goalie equipment, which all-in-all makes the hockey culture much different from other sports and definitely more exciting.
In case you’re interested, we’ve also written another article which goes over why hockey is such a fun sport to watch.
One part of hockey and definitely the most exhausting part that makes the competitive game so much fun are the many different skills required of you to use during the several minutes that you are on the ice. With each player holding the game in their hands, you will need to use a combination of physical and mental skills to get the puck where it needs to go.
While this may be up for debate, most people find the physical requirements of hockey one of the most fun parts of playing the game as it tests and helps you foster your skills and abilities.
The first and arguably most important is speed. Hockey is a fast-paced sport so being able to skate down the ice and shoot the puck quickly is necessary for keeping up with the pace that the game requires of you.
This constant action also requires impressive skating skills, as hockey players are essentially sliding around on a giant block of ice. Nonetheless, this only makes things more exciting as there is nothing better than that feeling of a cold breeze hitting your face as you glide around the other players.
In combination with the physical aspect, the mental agility and problem-solving skills needed from a hockey player add to the excitement of playing the game and really getting into it. This includes persevering in the face of stress and channelling a level of confidence that you may never have channelled before.
This also includes being able to hone in on your quick-thinking skills as you are required to know where your teammates are on the ice to anticipate their next move and your own in a matter of seconds. These skills end up being helpful in other aspects of your life, as problem-solving and quick-thinking are skills you need in school and a job.
Hockey is more than just pushing around a puck and putting it into a net. It is a combination of speed, physical and mental agility, elite foot-work, stick-handling, and mental perseverance that is to be executed quickly and effectively as everything about hockey is high-speed. Altogether, making for the perfect form of amusement is something you get excited to participate in and must work hard to master.
Many people will tell you that hockey is more than just a game, and one of the main reasons for this is the people you will meet. While this ties into the fact that you get to be a part of a team, you will likely form relationships with people on your team that will last a lifetime.
When you join a hockey team, you are joining a family, one that, if you are playing in a higher league, you will be spending the majority of your time with—all the way from dressing rooms to hotel rooms. With that being said, you will also get to travel with your team and spend plenty of nights getting to hang out with them forming bonds that will most likely never be broken.
To top it all off, you will also be making plenty of memories with these people and are most likely going to look back on those days as some of the most fun, thrilling, and best times of your life as you had gotten the chance to play a game and spend time with some fantastic like-minded people.
Hockey is a great way to get in plenty of exercise, which makes you feel better overall. Each practice, game, and warm-up is sure to get your heart-rate going and give you an exhilarating feeling that makes playing hockey a blast.
Through this, you will feel stronger and more confident in yourself as you become a powerful athlete. You may also want to take a read through our article discussing youth hockey strength and conditioning programs.
After you play hockey for a year or so regularly, you will begin to feel that this aspect of your life is a part of you. Without it, you miss out on getting in plenty of high-intensity workouts and strength building sessions on an almost daily basis.
A fantastic way to help relieve stress is by exercising. By playing hockey, you can also reduce stress and feel happier as you release all of your built-up tension and energy into the game. Whether or not you are playing a real game, you are sure to be putting all of your focus and any potential anger from the day into skating fast and hard.
Not only from the physical aspect of the game itself, but getting a chance to kick back and joke around with your friends and your team, and even possibly get a little confidence boost from the coaches is a great way to turn your mood around.
A great perk that comes with being on a hockey team is the tournaments you play in that require you to travel to different cities. While home games are equally exciting but, for different reasons, away game tournaments are a great excuse to travel around your country, or even other countries and see many different sights that you haven’t seen before.
While other people may spend their weekends during the school year watching TV or going to the mall, you will get the opportunity to travel to cities and see different landmarks you normally wouldn’t have ever gotten the chance to see.
One of the best parts is that you get to do this with some of your closest friends, which only makes the travelling that much more exciting. If you’re interested in this topic, we’ve written an article discussing the pros and cons of travel hockey.
It is no secret that hockey requires many physical skills that if you didn’t have before you began playing, you are sure to master them after a couple of years. These physical skills include but are not limited to:
- Leg strength
- Wrist strength
- Arm strength
In short, hockey will require your entire body to be in the game as you aren’t just trying to get a puck, but you are also trying to get a puck while keeping your body balanced and upright as you skate on ice. While it may sound demanding, it is hard to develop these skills in any way other than through playing hockey.
The best part is, you get to have fun while doing it for all of the previous reasons that were mentioned on this list, which in the end makes it all worth it.
Another reason why hockey is fun is for the very reason that it is more than just a sport. Hockey is a chance to become a better person overall as you develop plenty of new skills that can be used later in life and make you a better person overall. Some of these skills that you may acquire or improve upon include:
- Pride and confidence: As you win games and develop irreplaceable skills that your coaches recognize, you gain a sense of pride that comes with knowing your natural abilities, leading to a feeling of improved overall confidence.
- Responsibility: Playing a team sport requires 100% commitment, and hockey is no exception to this. As a player, you are expected to attend every practice and give your all at every game. That teaches you how to be a responsible individual.
- Leadership: When you are playing hockey, whether you get to be a team captain or not, there will be a time required of you to give it your all and step up to lead a team—a skill that is extremely valuable in the workforce.
- Teamwork: There is no “I” in hockey, so learning how to cooperate and work with others is essential to winning games. This skill is one of the most sought after for people as they look for jobs.
- Communication: While you are both on the ice and off, knowing how to communicate and talk with others helps you make more friends and be more likable in your day-to-day life.
- Problem-solving: Besides what you learn in school, having opportunities to solve problems is essential to ensuring success in many different aspects of life. Through hockey, you are required to solve problems while on the ice as you try to get, pass, or shoot the puck.
By playing hockey, and having a blast while doing so, knowing that you are also setting yourself up for success when it comes to some of the most essential skills you could possess, is a great motivator that helps you keep up your spirits while playing the game.
One of the relationships you probably won’t think too much about in the beginning is the one you will form with the adults leading your team. As either past hockey players or hockey fans themselves, and people seasoned in life to some extent, these people can prove to be a role model in your life.
Not only will they help you improve your skills when it comes to playing hockey, but they will also be able to teach you a little bit about the world that awaits you outside of the dressing room and the rink that can’t be learned anywhere else.
By having other adults than your parents in your life, you are sure to gain more skills and opportunities to be mentored by someone who knows something different about life.
For many people, getting to play hockey is the most fun part of their day because of all the reasons listed above. While it may require plenty of hard work and dedication, it has proven to be the highlight of many people’s lives and, as you probably know, many people’s careers.
The sport of hockey is more than just a team sport, so if you ever get the chance to play hockey, jump on the opportunity as it is a chance to become a better, more well-rounded person in the most fun and compelling way possible.
- The Hockey Writers: Superstitions Galore: The Strangest Superstitions in NHL History
- The Hockey Writers: 10 Reasons Hockey Is the Greatest Sport on Earth
- CDN3: Why Play Hockey?
- The Hockey Writers: Player Lingo: The Ultimate Dictionary