What It Really Takes To Walk Away A Winner

Say it's simply yearning for yesteryear, but there was a time when sports was about more than points on a scoreboard or tallies in a win-loss column.

It's easy in today's world of travel teams, AAU circuits and round-the-clock training to forget that the whole reason your Ovie-in-training first laced up the skates was probably for something much more elementary.

The legendary John Wooden used to say, "You can lose when you outscore somebody in a game. And you can win when you're outscored."

Cliche though it may be to invoke Wooden, there is a reason he won 10 national titles.

So before you start a new season worrying about how many goals your child may score, or how far in the playoffs they may go, come up with your family's own definition or what would make for a successful year.

I asked parents to keep it going, and add their own goals for this season:

  • My daughters and I talk about their goals together. I respect their goals and remind them to have fun along the way - Jen Berg, Oshkosh, Wis. 
  • To push my son out of his comfort zone and to believe that he can do it if he puts his mind to it. - Johnny Sheppard, Scarborough, Maine
  • To be a team player, but also to have the confidence in himself to "take the shot." - Kathy Gallagher, Machisen. St. Peters, Mo.
  • Keep setting goals and continue to push herself all the way to the last buzzer. - Jodi Leib, Farmington Hills, Mich.
  • Be a leader on and off the ice. -Sandi Lanham Brower, Frederick, Md.
  • Listen to your coaches. They see parts of the game that you don't. -Mike Braciszewski  Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Every year we ask our players to be part of a team, work hard, be a complete player and represent themselves, their team and community with the highest level of integrity.The goal is not to win, but to love hockey and everything that comes with it. If they do, oddly they win. - Mark Marshall, Edina, Minn.
  • I always want them to grow as a person and a hockey player. I want them to learn the value of a team effort and not a me effort. -Amanda Berry, St. Cloud, Minn.
  • I hope that he will finally give himself credit for how far he has come and that he will have the confidence he needs to stop worrying and enjoy every minute of it. -Theresa Caruso-Woyciesjes, North Haven, Conn.

We all have our own goals and ambitions for kids, but we all share a common desire in seeing our kids grow into more well-rounded adults. And it takes far more than a hat trick or kick save for that to happen. Setting realistic expectations and reaching them is an achievement worth celebrating.

Christie Casciano Burns' new book, "My Kids Play Hockey: Essential Advice For Every Hockey Parent" is now available on Amazon.com.




Who is your favorite American player?
Auston Matthews
Jason Robertson
Tage Thompson
Matthew Tkachuk
Patrick Kane
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