How do busy people make time for hockey? : LUSENET : Ice Hockey : One Thread

I know that all of you have lives and jobs that you deal with outside of hockey. (Weird, but it happens.) Some of you even have kids to take care of. So what kinds of things do you do to make sure you have time to play hockey? Do you ever feel like it's a losing battle? I'm especially interested to hear from people who mix school and hockey -- especially at the graduate level. I'm in an MA program now, and it's already hard enough to balance everything. But I fear that when I start a PhD thing, hockey is going to fall by the wayside. And that would just ruin everything, of course. So help me. Advice please. Thank you.

-- The Hockey Editress (, December 12, 2001


Wow, such great responses. I can see that I am hardly alone in the struggle to make time for hockey. But what really amazes me is how little you all SLEEP! I don't know, I am pretty big on getting my sleep. I would be a much more productive person if I could get by on fewer hours, but I just can't seem to do it.

Anyway, thanks for all the empathy, and good luck to everyone else who is balancing way too many things at once. I don't know how some of you do it.

As for me, I'm going to hand in my last project in a couple days, and then I'll get a few weeks off to read, and cook, and stretch, and swim, and work out, and even play some ice hockey. And you know, I didn't mean to be hard on my team. It's me, not them. Besides, the league I play in has a squads setup, so I'm pretty much playing with a different group of people each time. Which is pretty fun, if a bit casual. But whatever. Maybe what's making me sad is that I've had to miss out on some tourneys with MS. CONDUCT!!!!! And yeah, maybe hockey won't be as central in my life as it has been for the past couple years, but I think it will still be a part of it, one way or another. I mean, what other sport is as much fun? None I can think of.

-- Ann (, December 18, 2001.

Hey Ann, I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through a hard time with hockey. Coming from someone who does stupid things all the time on the ice - I know what it is like to hear the groaning of teammates so you have to ask yourself a couple of questions. 1. At these Blue games are you competing for the Stanley Cup? (I'm going to guess that the answer is no). 2. Is the loud groaners on your team being paid to play the game? (Again I'm going to assume no). 3. Are you playing hockey for yourself or for them? (To rephrase the question - Why are you playing? Answer - TO HAVE FUN!!!) 4. Can these groaners honestly say that they never make a mistake? Last night while watching my favorite team (the Maple Leafs) - I saw a couple beauty give-aways from guys who are being paid millions of dollars to play the game. I think one can expect players at the rec level like ourselves to make an ill advised decision on the ice several times a game.

Just remember that you are playing to have fun - you are playing to improve your game - and you are playing to have fun. So what if you make a mistake?? We don't improve as players unless we try something now and then and most times it may not work. What are you suppose to do - dump the puck everytime you get it? You make a mistake hustle your ass off to get back into the play and hope like hell that your goalie bails you out.

I know exactly where you are coming from I feel it all the time. When I play in tournaments with the gang - I do some really dumb stuff and I know our super stars probably do a little groaning but you know what - I get asked to come out and play for the next tournament so it can't be that bad right? The best thing is that when you do somthing dumb, or mishandle the puck, or whatever, you get the advice from the certain people that like to give that advice, then on the next shift you see them do the same damn thing. Now that is beautiful. I wouldn't worry about people groaning and just play your game.

AS far as finding time - that's an easy answer - you must completely give-up your social life, then you can fill that time with hockey. Seriously, hockey is a good relief and if you think about the fact that it takes maybe 2-3 hours out of a day to go play - you have to allow yourself that fun time too. I would suggest eliminating a couple of hours of sleep to get that hockey in, but then again I'm a pyscho!

Good Luck!

-- Teresa (, December 12, 2001.

Hi, Ann--The truth is, as a very busy person, hockey doesn't get as much attention in my life as it should. I work full-time, am taking three classes, and have two part-time jobs. When something needs to be cut, it is almost always that gym workout or skating session. I missed two games last weekend because of an obligation to my partner, I missed a team end-of-season party because I was just too damn tired after a week of work and school. I don't have enough time to practice stick handling at home, much less get myself to the rink for a stick and puck.

So, I know exactly how you're feeling. If I do something, I want to do it with focus and energy, but that's just not happening right now. I'm double worried because I'm also going to teach a class next semester. I feel like I'm being pulled between all the things I want/need to do, and hockey consistently falls at the bottom of the list of obligations to be met.

But, you know, I made my choices. I would have time to play more hockey if I gave up this degree or this career path, or spent less time with my spouse, or dropped a job. I try to remember that when I'm frustrated. I made my choices for a reason, and I try to focus on them and just let hockey be fun. Of course, I don't play at the high level you do, no one but me really expects me to contribute much to the game.

Sorry, there was no advice in this post, just plenty of empathy.


-- JR (, December 12, 2001.

I feel like I don't have time for anything lately, even just a quick skate, let alone a game. I work full-time, plus a part-time job. I have a full-time girlfriend and a half-the-time 7 year old of hers.

Oh, and we're having a baby in March!

My only "games" are as a mercenary for guys who can't make it to some games. That way, I get fairly regular time (anywhere from 1-4 games every 2 weeks) with a flexible commitment ... plus I don't have to pay a team fee, since I'm filling in for a paid player.

Basically, I just cut corners on my sleep time. I'm lucky enough that I can get by with 4 hours. Plus, my part-time job is being a beer man at Avalanche games. I guess that gives me some vicarious ice time!


-- Adam B. (, December 12, 2001.

Wow this topic couldnt have come at a better time, I was just thinkinglast night that I need to take a day and just chill, I have been running on empty for over a month now. am tring to manage school, being an editor of a yearbook(which might as well be a full time job), a part timejob, hockey and going to the gym twice a is only semi working. The gym is always the first thing that goes when I have a yearbook deadline because it is really the only thing I an drop because I cant quit going to hockey(and I would be miserable if I did because I love it) because that wouldnt be fair to my team. Starting next month we enter tournement season, which for us means 1 tournement a month--and I cant slack now and make the coaches regret rostering me(especially for the over 18 tourney that I was chosen to be part of). This isnt very helpful I am sure but so far my theory is that I will just crash over Christmas break, when I will have no school or yearbook to deal with. Oh yeah and I have to second that I also have a very limited social life beyond the friends I have in the above mentioned things.

-- Diana (, December 12, 2001.

Hey Ann, I know sometimes it seems that life just completely overwhelms everything, including the really important stuff. Hey, everyone seems to be burning the candle at both ends these days and I guess I'm not really any exception, trying to balance pressure at work,moving home, family, friends, a couple of sports as well as trying to work out where the hell I want to go with my life. Our Goalie is eyeballs deep in a PhD and spends all hours at her lab doing experiments and generally pulling her hair out, but SHE NEVER MISSES HOCKEY, WHY?? I'll tell you why.....we all play hockey cos we love it, it adds value to our lives,it can even make you a better person, it gives us the sanity to deal with all the other crap in our lives, it allows us to think about nothing else for a while but the freedom of skating, the satisfaction of making a good check or save, the f*@#ing awesome feeling when that puck sails into the back of the net. I love the ribald camaraderie of the locker room, I even love my stinky old gear (makes me feel like a gladiator!!) and the clunking wheeze of the crappy zamboni at our rink which is at death's door. Just remember why you play, that should give you all the motivation you need.

-- Sarah (, December 12, 2001.

Lots of good answers already. If you're asking yourself the question, "How do I find time to play hockey?", what you might be asking yourself is, "Why do I imagine a time when hockey isn't as high on the priority list as I'm pressuring myself to believe it should be?" It's one of those things where I believe you've got to go with your instincts. If you 'drive' yourself to play when you're not feeling committed to the game, eventually you'll have so little motivation, you'll drive yourself away from the game permanently. When I was in highschool, my coach told me I had to make a choice between basketball and hockey. I went for the warm, indoor, non- contact sport, and had some great years on the court. Many years later, I started playing hockey again and rediscovered the love I have for playing the game. Sure, you've got to find a team and time that allows you to keep your job and get enough sleep, and the decisions you've made about hockey over the years will determine whether you'll continue to play now, or whether you'll need to take a break and pick up your own basketball. It doesn't mean you'll be giving hockey up forever. I was almost 20 years between faceoffs, and I'm having a better time playing now than I ever did in highschool. Good luck!

-- Michael (, December 13, 2001.

Time is something most of us don't have enough of, and fitting in hockey can be very difficult. I know when I was working on my master's thesis, the pressure was intense and I felt like I was on a merry-go-round as I tried to balance my kids, our business (which involves 70+ race horses)and some semblance of a life. But, I survived it, and now that I am an environmental consultant writing long reports I can see that the thesis was just the beginning of being under the gun. Hockey is an important part of the equation, because it is your stress buster! There are times when I think I will go crazy trying to get my bantam goalie son to his travel A games, fulfill my career obligations, and get my horse to her shows. However, the time I spend on the ice with my team takes me away from all the other stress, and I never regret having made the time to do it. I think it helps that it is a women's team, because it seems that the women I play with are trying to juggle multiple commitments, too. Many of us have kids playing travel, careers, etc. I wish I could tell you how to make more time, but I can't. I can't seem to do that for myself! But, you need the break when pursuing advanced degrees, so don't become so narrow in focus that you can't pull yourself away and have fun on the ice. Otherwise, you might go postal on your dissertation committee!! Doctoral candidates need to have fun, too. You will be mentally refreshed and ready to work. You may consider playing for a women's team, too. Several women on my team play on men's teams as well, and they feel a much stronger sense of comraderie and support with us. Nobody on our team groans when mistakes are made. We just get our butts in gear and play a little harder and support each other. Keep up the good work--on and off the ice.

-- Susan Runco (, December 13, 2001.

To me, it's all about sacrafices and the WILLINGNESS to make them. I'm 26, working full time as an engineer, part time engineering grad school, and trying to maintain a relationship and balancing a social life with friends in addition to doing things that I am passionate about: hockey, martial arts, golf, occasional trip up the mtns for snowboarding or mtn biking, etc.

To answer your question of how I find time to play hockey... I play when I should really be sleeping. I have games one weeknight a week, and I wake up early on Sat and Sunday morning for practice, by early, I mean I'm on the ice 7am! I take 1 weekend off every month to rest and just give myself a break from hockey and to make sure I don't burn myself out. I don't really go to the gym because I get enough exercise through other activities. And I have also noticed that I have become a lot more disciplined about time management. I try to leave work at work, not procrastinate on my school work. Bottom line, I sleep maybe 5-6 hours a night, work 9-10 hours a day, go to school 2 nights a week, hockey 1 night and weekend morning, hang w/ friends 1 night, boyfriend 1 night and Saturday, homework and rest on Sunday.

Sorry, don't really have any good advices. You're right, I need more hours in a day! Just hang it there and good luck!


-- Amy (, December 14, 2001.

We make time for the things that are REALLY important in our life... Sounds like hockey might not be the MOST important thing for you right now.

Thats okay,,take a break, you will enjoy more when you return.

Also find another team to play on, this one has lost its "wondermeant" for you. OR stay away, they will appreciate you more when you return.

Merry Christmas Ann, your friend in Vancouver, Elaine

PS If you want to play in the Planet Ice Spring tournament, I will find you a spot to play. 8-)

-- Elaine Marshall (, December 18, 2001.

Hi there I play in an Adult Mens Hockey League in Toronto,Ontario Canada twice a week and work full time. The best way to deal with this issue is to have a positive attitude at all times. Some times your teammates can see things that you can't. You can then work on improving your play in these areas.

-- Kevin K (, December 18, 2001.

I treat hockey like a midnight snack. It is something to look forward to amongst my incredibly busy week. With it, I maintain a clear head, good health and a huge smile on my face. Without it, i feel bad but appreciate it even more the next time I *get* to do it.

-- (, December 18, 2001.

I would encourage you to consider hockey a part of your PhD program. If you stay healthy and happy, you will do better at your chosen field. I started playing hockey about three years ago, just after my 45th birthday. (OK, call it mid-life crisis if you want, but it is really fun and yes, I like envious looks the younger dads give me as I come off the ice while they are waitng for thier kids' game to start. Male-ego thing, I guess) What a blast! Sure wish I'd taken it up years ago. A freind talkied me into it. He quit. I won't. Busy schedule/Hockey: I have had to take hockey classes that start at 6:30 AM in order to keep on the ice. I also have to play in leagues/groups that have very late start times. I refuse to quit, though. I have noticed that "hockey people" seem to have less of a Jock- mentality than other sports. Nice people on the whole. that doesn't mean they don't play hard. They just don't act like jerks off the ice. The only exceptions to this are the beginner-goon types. But I digress...Keep your stick (and yourself) on the ice!

-- Terry Banbury (, January 14, 2002.

Ann, I played hockey 2-4 times per week through my MA and my PhD, with a spouse, and (over time) 1-3 kids. I still did well enough to get a job as a professor. The trick for me was to identify wasted time during the day -- time that I *called* "work", but where I was only half-tuned into my reading or writing, and only stuck with it because I'd have felt guilty doing anything else. But if there's a rink at the university (that makes *all* the difference) you can take a break and get out for shinny (or pick-up scrimmages or daytime intramural leagues), an hour and a half here and there during the week. I found this made me waaayyyyy more efficient during my remaining study/work hours. (The guilt, I'm afraid, is inextricably tied to recreation; there's no avoiding that.) Good luck!

-- Clutch Munny (, January 25, 2002.

Speakin of puck


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