Conformity vs Courage
Which would you choose? Conformity or courage?
The courage to stand up for what’s right?
Conform and hide behind your true feelings for the sake of protecting themselves or perhaps the institution?
In this case the institution is the game of hockey.
The conflict between courage and conformity happens every single time you walk into the rink.
Every single time you walk into the dressing room.
Find me a team that accepts everyone for who they are and I’ll show you true champions.
In my opinion the players that conform and put up with all of hockey’s bull shit cultural norms show tremendous courage, they are the bravest of all.
They shouldn’t have to do that.
They shouldn’t have to show that courage.
They should be able to be themselves.
Simply put, that just doesn’t work in the game of hockey.
You see that courage, is different than being first on the puck.
Different than being first in the corner, first to drop the gloves, first to mix it up with a bigger stronger opponent, first to stand up for a team mate.
You see for most that’s how you show courage and bravery in the game.
That might be true, but in a sense that’s all bull shit too.
So many aspects of the game are built on a foundation of conformity.
When does it start?
How does it start?
Who reinforces it?
Who promotes it and why the hell is it still part of the game we all love.
The game of hockey has a real big problem, but the shadows of conformity continue to shelter it.
The cover up, the code of silence, “what happens in the room stays in the room” mentality is killing the game and essentially killing the dreams of thousands of young players each year.
As I’ve said before, “I love the game, but I hate the culture.”
Just imagine giving a survey to every player across this country.
The survey would consist of one question.
1. Are you able to be yourself within the framework of the game?
Why or why not?
Would you have the courage to answer that question?
or would you continue to conform to hockey culture and keep your mouth shut in fear of your answers every coming to the surface?
Can you truthfully answer that question and would your answer differ now than in the past?
Are we all still conforming?
Can we really be ourselves within the game?
How can we change the cultural dynamic?
How can we shift the institutional culture?
Conform or courage?
Something has to change.
Everything has to change.