The Price You Pay

“You make up your mind, you choose the chance you take
You ride to where the highway ends and the desert breaks
Out on to an open road you ride until the day
You learn to sleep at night with the price you pay”
The Price You Pay-Bruce Springsteen

Probably one of the most uses cliches in all of sport. “Pay the price.”

Everyone has their own price they will pay and are capable of paying to be successful. Have you thought long and hard what yours is? What you are willing to sacrifice for the game?

Parents of young hockey players certainly know about paying an ‘actual price’. Just ask them about that…..:) Players, I dare you to go up to them and say, “Hey guys, just curious… you think you have paid the price for my hockey???” When you do, I suggest you leave the room.

But let’s leave the caretakers out of this for now.  What I am talking about is your awareness of sacrifice and what you give up for the game of hockey and what you will continue to give up as you progress. I want to be clear that although I am talking about sacrificing things,I am in no way saying that it is a bad thing. Quite the opposite. It is an amazing thing. The game gives you some incredible things. Friends,, travel, learning and growth experiences, phenomenal memories, success, a feeling of worth and belonging to something great. A family……

But there is a price to pay……there always is for worthwhile things.

So if you are committed to becoming a very good player, which I know that most of you who read this blog are, here are some of the certainties. It may not be the popular thing to do in pointing them out, but they are facts. Here goes.

There are things that some other people will get to do that you won’t be able to. There are things your ‘school friends’ will do that you can’t. There are social events you will miss. There are family events you will miss.You will miss school and have to get caught up. You will make mistakes in front of many people. You will get embarrassed. You will get knocked down. You will work harder than you thought possible. You will work out so hard you will puke. You will play for coaches you don’t like. You will play for coaches who don’t like you. You will be criticized.  You will feel like quitting. You will get physically beat up. You will get mentally beat up.

You will get hurt.

You will pay a price.

And it will all be worth it ………

 “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
Booker T. Washington

Paying the price means prioritizing.  Here are just a few areas that are good to mention concerning this followed by a fun video on ‘Paying the Price’.

I know I have written many prior posts dealing with this topic. Go back and look at them. It goes without saying that there is a price to pay in the gym.

Making Good Decisions
Pay the price. Ask yourself, “What is the right thing to do at this moment that will make me a better player and person?” Let that simple question be your compass. Be honest with yourself and if something will not help you accomplish those two things……then don’t do it.

Who do you associate with?
Do you pay a price if you don’t associate with the right people? I think we all agree that you do. Pay the price and be selective in the people you surround yourself with. Pick good people to be part of your life.

There is a great story about an old farmer who took his beat up mule to the Kentucky Derby and wanted to enter him in the race. The elite horsemen at the derby said, “Sir, you can’t have have that old mule run with these exceptional thoroughbreds and expect him to beat them…..” to which the farmer replied, “No, I know. I just thought it would do him good to be associated with them….”
Pick people and friends that will raise you up to higher levels not lower you down to theirs. Pay the price and choose wisely.

“Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there.” Vince Lombardi

I told you before it was worth it. It is. One of the great things about being an old washed up player is running into other old washed up players. The amazing thing is that when you hear old players talk, they don’t complain about the price they paid……..they only talk about the great things the game has given them.
Playing hockey at any high level requires you to pay a price. But the reward from paying that price is knowing that you now have something special to take with you forever. In life, you can apply the same dedication, the ability to pay the price and accomplish anything you commit to.
That is the secret of ‘The Price You Pay’.

(you knew the Springsteen video was coming. This one is special because it was taken at the old Philadelphia Spectrum….where many a price was paid.:) )