It’s a very long time since I’ve experienced the sensation of preparing for play-off’s as a kid. February makes me think of play-off’s in those years. As a kid, we had great play-off formats in house league. These varied across the years but there were several years where we played two out of three series in the semi’s and final’s. It was just like the NHL except we were 10 and it was house-league. We also had two games total goals which weren’t as good but at least you had a second chance if your first go was just a bad night.
There was an excitement that built up during the day at school if I had a playoff game that night. I used to get really nervous before play-off games in a way that I didn’t for the regular season contests. It was always a fun-nervous though – just a little more on the line and a little more exciting as a result. I always wanted to get to the rink a little earlier, and I was really enjoyed the increased level of competition. I was never a physical player but I always wanted to win. Still like it in fact. That’s why we keep score right?
I don’t agree with these movements in minor sports today that are suggesting we shouldn’t count goals until kids are 12 or something like that. I think it’s ridiculous. Winning is fun and important. Losing isn’t fun but learning how to lose graciously is an important life skill. All this blather about kids needing to develop skills instead being more important is bunk. Learning to win is a skill. Life is competitive and competition can be rewarding. Being a member of a team that wins a championship (yes, that means all the other teams didn’t win) is one of life’s great experiences. Watching the other clowns carry the trophy around when you lose is really depressing but oh what a motivator for next year.
Play-off’s baby, that’s what February was all about. And if you were still playing in March, well…..you done good.