Learning to SacrificeSeptember 13, 2022
by Jean Pronovost, member of NHL single season 50 Goal Scorers’ Club and Pro, College and Major Junior Coach.
Hockey requires discipline. I left home and family at a very young age in pursuit of a career in the game. To make it you need self-discipline both on and off the ice. You have to give up certain things to reach your goal. Make good choices-like hanging out with positive people who can build into your life; eat good nourishing food and get sufficient sleep.
I learned that making it to the NHL was challenging, but staying there was even more difficult. Sacrifice, sacrifice… I always wanted to be the best that I could be. As a player I had some skills that came easier and others which required hard work. This meant staying on the ice after practice, working hard and staying focused. As a goal scorer I paid close attention to talented shooters, studying their strategies and moves in an effort to learn new and better ways of putting pucks past goalies.
As a coach your goal is to convey to your players the importance of sacrifice and commitment. Getting the message across that team comes first is a priority. If players are willing to sacrifice their selfish desires and invest in their teammates by making them better for the good of the team this will benefit everyone. Scouts know that a successful team is made up of well-disciplined players, the very kind of players that they want on their professional teams.
We know that Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice in giving His life for us. His example of unselfishness inspired me to help my teammates to become better players. However, along with His example He has given all who receive Him as Saviour His Holy Spirit to help us live for His glory. As well, we have the Bible, which when studied and meditated on, renews our minds and transforms our lives. I would like to close with two verses:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)