Every player has their own unique routines and if you’ve been around the game long enough you’ve probably seen them all.
From the pregame meal to each little nuance and minute mannerism players constantly follow their routine to letter, game in, game out, year after, year.
As Crash Davis so famously said in Bull Durham, “never fuck with a winning streak.”
Players should never f&$@ with their routines.
In many ways routine rapidly turns into ritual, it’s part of the game, it becomes second nature.
The uniquely weird and sometimes bordering on crazy obsessively individualist rituals becomes all consuming for some players.
The over the top antics literally tears some athletes psyche apart.
Every little detail has to be perfectly timed, perfectly executed or the ritual as to start all over again.
From routine, to ritual, to superstition, the slippery slope never ends.
We all have our own authentic routines.
Hello, we are all creatures of habit.
So where does habit fall into this equation?
The routine becomes a habit, embedded into a athletes DNA or their sporting soul.
The ritual or superstition takes on negative connotations and in many ways leads to uncharacteristic failure and woeful performance.
We all have our routines, habits rituals and superstitions.
The repetitive nature is firmly entrenched in us all.
Can this all lead to what we are all experiencing with our favourite sports being on pause or cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Have we become so codependent on our sporting rituals that it has thrown off our equilibrium?
Is it love and passion for the sport that has caused us to agonize about the lack of sports in our lives or are we so accustomed or addicted to our routines that we have lost all perspective on the matter?
We are all creatures of habit.
Hockey players and fans alike have their pre game routines and rituals locked in.
In many ways we all do in our everyday lives.
All my nuances, rituals and superstitious behaviour became a tradition during my playing days.
It never became a distraction or an obsession, it was just my way of focusing and reaching my full potential and optimal performance.
Did it become a semi healthy way to focus?
I really don’t know what to call it, but it definitely spilled over into my competitive golfing career, if you even call it that, but that’s a story for another time.
You see we all miss hockey, but we all miss our routines.
Our routines, rituals, superstitions and traditions on game days have all gone away. Our love for the game will never fade, but we are all longing for the return of our routines.
It’s all about the routine.
Of course, I miss the game.
I miss talking hockey, the sights and sounds of the game.
I miss the crowd. I miss the lights and cameras. I miss the camaraderie of the press box.
I miss projecting and evaluating young players trying to accomplish their lifelong dream.
I miss the people.
I miss interviewing and talking with players and coaches.
I miss talking with fans, billet families and the player’s families.
I miss the interaction that comes with the game.
I miss writing about the game. I miss telling stories.
I miss walking into St James Gate after a game and listening to Chris Colepaugh play.
I miss walking into the bar at the Crown and having a beer and talking to Louise.
I miss going to Boston Pizza for a beer after freezing my arse off scouting at the Superior Propane Centre.
I miss game, but I miss the routine. It’s all about the routine. We all have new routines that mean so much more than our old ones now.
The game connects us all, but we are all in this together, in hopes to get back to our own unique routines whatever they might be.
One can only imagine what an essential workers routine might be right now.
The unimaginable routine of all of our front line medical staff. Their routines are saving lives. That’s not routine.
We all want to get our “normal” routines back, but now more than ever, our former routines, rituals, and traditions mean so much to us all.
What do you miss? What’s your routine? Do you miss the game or the routine? It’s all about the routine!