An Interview with Jarome IginlaMay 14, 2018Jarome Iginla answered a few questions for us on hockey and faith:
When and how did you come to realize that your skills and talents are gifts from the Lord?
I like Romans 12:6 for this question. I believe we do all have different gifts and glorify God in different ways. It is easier for some people to share their faith than others and we all have different ways of doing it. When I was younger, I remember just being fascinated by God, Jesus and life. I would chat with friends and teammates about possibilities and my beliefs and listen to theirs too. One of the main things that I have come to realize is that we serve God whenever we are serving the public good, being kind to one another even when we don't invoke the name of God or Jesus. As far as interviews on the topic of my faith, I believe I became more comfortable over the years in sharing my story.
How did this realization affect the way you play?
This realization did have an effect on the way I played the game. It gave me confidence, energy and always a faith that things will work out for the best. I wasn't alone. There was also a balancing act that I tried walk in the game. Hockey is a very competitive, intense game with big hits and a physical side, fighting being apart of it. I believed for me to play to my best I had to play with a competitive edge and sometimes fight. But I tried to make an effort to not be a bully, but do it to stick up for my teamates or myself. It was just as important at the end of the game and outside of the rink to remember no matter what way it went, it was left in the arena and to respect my opponents as people. I was very blessed to play in the NHL and have some success individually over my hockey career and achieve some great team goals and achievements. But throughout it, I definitely had some ups and downs, cold streaks, hot streaks, great wins and excruciating losses. One thing looking back that seemed to help me the most was when I just let go and trusted in God. I know it's just hockey, but to me, that was a huge everyday part of my life. It wasn't always easy to just leave it all at the rink and not think about it. Sometimes I would obsess about things, whether the NHL entry draft, to a losing streak, to a personal cold streak, to even a hot streak. I would think about it all day. But what I learned throughout my career was that the best things seemed to happen when I did my part of preparing, working hard and then just trusting that God would look after the rest. To just enjoy the journey! I still have to remind myself of that at times, but over the course of my career and life, I have improved at that.
Could you tell us a bit about teamwork and the importance of team dynamics?
I really enjoyed getting to be part of a team. I played on teams with different skill levels, some better then others, some rebuilding/growing teams, to some power houses like Team Canada. Over 30+ years of hockey from childhood to the NHL, the fundamentals of a good team never seemed to change. I saw how important it was for people to respect and accept each others differences and that in order to be a great team, there are many different roles all very important in different ways. The teams that accepted and made each guy feel important for what they did, had the most fun together and improved the most. And at the end of the day, when you went through the battle together, whatever the outcome, I made some great friends!