The game of hockey can prepare us for many things in life, preparation for a job, a higher level of education or the next level of hockey in pursuit of a college or professional career. We can use the resources around us to prepare. In some cases, some of our best resources are the closest to us. Players listen to your Mother. You may think she doesn’t know the game of hockey but probably she has great understanding of
the most important game, the game of life! Players you might want to send this message to those people who mean something to you: to those who have touched your life in one way or another; to those who make you smile when you really need it; to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; to those whose friendship you appreciate. To those who are so meaningful in your life.

Carrots, Eggs, & Coffee! A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee. You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again. A young man went to his mother and told her about his life and how things were so hard for him. He did not know how he was going to make it and wanted to give up, he was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. His mother took him to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her son, she asked, “Tell me what you see.” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” he replied. His mother brought him closer and asked him to feel the carrots. He did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the son to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, he observed the hardboiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the son to sip the coffee. The son smiled as he tasted its rich aroma. The son then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

His mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her son. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?” Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship, or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying. May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!

For over thirty years I had the good fortune of meeting many families in the game of hockey. Recruiting seasons took me to many places of the four corners of the United States and Canada. One thing I learned at almost every stop, a home visit or meeting in a restaurant was that player’s Moms have interesting perspectives. Whether their son was moving away from home for the first time to pursue junior hockey or their final season of junior eligibility Moms were concerned about important issues. Moms were not interested in the powerplay or goals and assists. Moms were interested in billet homes, food availability and content as well as accommodation on the road and accountability. Moms were concerned about the environment both hockey and non-hockey related for their sons. Moms see the big picture. I learned Moms may not have a PHD in the game of hockey but in many cases many Moms should be given one in the game of life. Who ever said listen to your Mom was a wise man?

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