Sunday, June 23, 2024

How hockey stars stick together through selection setbacks

We’ve all watched the top players playing hockey all around the world and if you’re anything like me, you’ve looked on enviously at what on the surface, seems like a brilliant existence. They get to train and play a sport they love, day in, day out.

They get to hang out with their mates, and they get to see different parts of the world, all in the name of being a professional athlete. However, recently the dark side of that life, which I hadn’t considered for a long time came back into my thoughts thanks to the podcast Let’s Stick Together.

For those unfamiliar, the podcast is a weekly hockey show hosted by Great Britain international Phil Roper alongside teammate Brendan Creed and Dutch international Joep de Mol. The podcast is a great listen and usually covers the lighter side of the game. However, with De Mol unexpectedly being left out of the Netherlands’ World Cup squad, this particular episode took on a slightly more reflective tone.

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  1. Many years ago I listened to a top GB international talk about being left out of an olympic squad. He had played in all the qualifying matches and when he asked the coach ‘why me?’ the response was ‘you just weren’t my cup of tea’! His message to all the eager juniors at the talk was that you have to do everything you can to be selected at whatever level you are trying for, but in the end your fate is in someone else’s hands, and it’s their job to make those decisions. You can disagree but there is no right of appeal – you just have to get stuck in and reapply yourself and demonstrate you deserve a place in the next squad. Very much the same advice the guys above have given.

  2. This was a real stand out episode that goes far beyond Hockey, it is a model example of dealing with rejection, failure and setbacks in a constructive manner- the fact that Joep’s disappointment is so raw makes it all the more compelling. It felt unplanned, unscripted and honest all underpinned by a strong friendship. A first class piece of broadcasting and an essential listen for…basically everyone.


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