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Getting cut from a youth hockey team

When one door closes, another one opens.

In April I tried out for a girls’ hockey team. They are the only girls organization in my area, and others are hours away from me. This team is a good team, so I was pretty excited to try out and I had high hopes that I would make the team. It wasn’t my first time trying out for this team, but the last time that I did, I didn’t feel ready to be on the team. This time I was, and I was powered up. I had been training for these tryouts for two months prior. So when I say I was ready, I was ready. I had confidence in myself and I knew I would do great.

So the day comes along and there I am in the locker room. I didn’t know anyone in the room besides one person who I had met at a clinic in the beginning of this year. I was chilling with her and we were chatting about the team. I told her that I was nervous, but I had confidence to do my thing and give it my all. My friend was previously on the team already and she was boosting up my confidence and saying that the team needs someone like me, and I’ll make it. That is when we got suited up and headed out on the ice.

During try outs I was doing pretty well. For never playing with a girls’ team before, I was keeping up with them and pacing myself. My shots were great and my skating was also great, I had high confidence that I was going to be put on this team. During the last 30 minutes we played a scrimmage. I played forward. I got a great pass and I took off. I passed the defenders and I got on the breakaway, took a shot, but it went high off the crossbar, but it was still a great play.

When tryouts were over, I took my equipment off and headed out to the lobby. The parents had a meeting after tryouts so the coaches could talk to the parents individually about the team and if their daughters would be able to make it or not. While this was going on I was chilling with my friend in the lobby and we were chit chatting about the team and the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Towards the end of the night all of the parents left and my mom was the last one there. At that moment it hit me, I probably didn’t make the team. When my mom came out of the room, she told me to get in the car because we needed to talk. That is when I knew. I was crushed. It was devastating. The thing that upset me the most was that I didn’t make the team because I wasn’t a returning player. It wasn’t because of my skill, its just that I was the new girl to the organization and they didn’t want me.

It hurt because I worked very hard and I got rejected. Now, that only makes me work harder and push myself to become even better. I am realizing that there are politics involved in sports—sometimes no matter how good you are or how much confidence you have, if you do not “fit in” with the team you will be cut.

It was a true eye opener for me. My mom, in consoling me, kept telling me that I was never meant to be on that team.  I would have never fit in and sometimes we need to let things be.  I was never so upset in my life.  I felt betrayed and I lost all my confidence because I felt it was my one shot at playing girls’ hockey since I don’t want to play with the boys anymore.

After a few days passed, I realized that there are always alternatives and I felt determined to research alternatives for me.  Like I mentioned, the team I tried out for was the ONLY girls’ hockey team on Long Island where I live, so what alternatives did I have? Well, in researching I found out that about 40 miles away in NJ there is another girls’ hockey team and I got right on it.  I am hoping to try out for them in a week or so and I feel better with all that has happened.  I also realized that nobody is going to take the LOVE I have for hockey away from me.  I am still young and have opportunities to do a lot with hockey. If anything, I am much stronger and more confident.

Don’t ever let one team or one person CRUSH your dreams.

 


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Annabella Gatto

More about Annabella Gatto

I started playing ice hockey when I was 15. Throughout my journey there has been many bumps in the road but also great sights to see along the way and I'm here to write all about it!