Personal Narrative: My Personal Experience As A Hockey Player

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During my years playing hockey as a kid, I experienced many stressful situations both first hand and observed through teammates and coaches. One occasion in particular stands out, mostly due to how I was able to influence it. I was playing goal for a junior hockey team in BC, and my goalie partner at the time was very intense and emotional person. Certain things that were seemingly insignificant to me and to the other teammates, he took personally and often let it affect his state of mind and even his performance at times. Things like, players shooting pucks into his net at then end of drills and players celebrating or cheering after scoring goals in practice would really get under his skin. At times, he would even yell at his teammates and…show more content…
My coach in turn, began screaming back at him telling him to “grow up” and other things of that manner. After the brief and explosive exchange between my goalie partner and the bench he skated back to the net to begin play. Once he had left and play had begun, I told my coach that I thought I should be put in net, I was fairly certain my partner was not in the right head space to be playing. My coach promptly refused and conveyed that he believed that my goalie partner should have to stay in net and dig himself out of the hole he created for himself. I told the coach that I didn’t think that was a good idea and that I should be put in just temporarily so that the other goalie could calm down and regroup, but my coach refused this also. My goalie partner let in two more goals before the first intermission and he had not cooled down, screaming at our teammates after each. I knew I had to talk to him and try to calm him down during the intermission. I knew he had to be feeling all alone out there, and that his team and his coaches had given up on him. When I spoke with him, I stopped him before he got into the room with everyone and tried to let him know that I had his back and gave him the impression that I was on his side. This got him talking but did not calm…show more content…
Seeing my goalie partners response to how my coach handled the situation versus how he responded to a more empathetic and calm approach was night and day. After the outburst with our coach, his body language and attitude was resentful and his performance got worse and worse. When he was shown empathy and was made to feel that he wasn’t alone in his struggle however, he was more responsive to what I had to say and was able to calm down and regain a more stable mindset. The second was that if you allow your own emotions to get caught up with how you deal with people in a crisis it can intensify the situation. When my coach yelled back at the other goalie during his crisis he didn’t take his own emotions and the other goalies emotions, into consideration. By doing this he made the other goalie feel as if the coach was he was in the wrong and only compounded the problems. Knowing that my goalie partner was a very emotional individual I approached him very calmly and made sure to curb my own opinions of the situation and of him, which helped put him at ease. I think both lessons are applicable to most, if not all crisis scenarios. When people in a crisis are made to feel they are not being heard or that people do not care about their issues it creates an even bigger problem.
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