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Monday, November 14, 2011

How Sweet it is!

Sorry for the delay in getting this blog out, as I previously stated however I forgot to take into account that I was going on a 1 vacation to Vegas, and god knows there wasn't not any blog writing going to be done during that stay. 

I would like to start this weeks blog by giving a big thumbs up to "Andrew Sweetland" of the CNN stars. What has transpired with this young man is exactly the point of my article last week. This young man is in the prime of his career but has had a few setbacks in the past year which has put him on the shelf with concussion concerns. 

He could have stayed and started from the bottom and worked his way back up or do as he is doing now. You see this young man has probably faced one of the toughest decisions that any young man of his age has to make. He had to decide between chasing his dream, which he was vey close to achieving or take a long serious look at his future. I believe he made the right decision, he decided to return home to enroll in university and begin preparing himself for his post hockey life. 

There could have been any number of factors that played into his decision to do this, 1. Parents, 2. Maturity level, 3. Proper guidance to help him go this route. By following this path he will still have the opportunity to return to that level if he so desires but this time he will be much better prepared than most of his peers at the same stage of their careers.

Not knowing at this point in time as he has yet to finish his playing career, but I can guarantee you that in  10-15 years from now he will be so glad he made a decision like this, albeit, his decision was based a lot upon his concision problems, but he could've continued trying to play and caused even further damage and consequently harming his chances of becoming the contributing member of society that he probably so desires and deserves to become. 

There are currently dozens of NL'ers playing outside of the province and living in different communities all throughout North America which all have their own distinct cultures, values and ways of life. In the past 25 hrs in NL there have been 100’s of players go after their dream and we are all so proud of them and the present day guys in the NHL as they have been  grown to become excellent role models for our youth. Out of those guys only 6 have had an average career of more than 3 years so it is by no means an easy goal to achieve. 

The unfortunate thing here is that nobody out there explains this process to the kids, we care and prepare them by training on and off the office all winter long, they then train all summer with rigorous offseason training programs, etc.... But we often leave the most important aspect out. 
The game is meant to provide many skills to these young players, as I discussed in a blog last year but for some reason it fails more often than not in this aspect. 

I came from a very close knit family who provided all of this to me as well and as parents you need to begin doing the same. Support them in every way possible, let them know how proud you are of them and how they have accomplished so much, but also let them know that you know their may possibly be mistakes made along the road and it's better to discuss them right away rather than allowing them to muster inside setting up the bases for possible mental health issues down the road. 

Because of this I have founded an organization that will be know as Team EduSkate. This pilot project will consist of a web portal and iPhone/android app and will allow not only all NL players that a playing off of the island an opportunity to sign up, but also every minor hockey league player in the province. I am hoping to get the support of HNL in endorsing this project and to encourage all associations to do some research and give it a chance. 

Where else can you gather all the hockey minds of one province in a single medium to get the expertise and help you need or are looking for. I will tie this into Gilly’s Gab and post my blog there as well to leave it open for discussion. I will make myself readily available to email or call anytime at all if you feel you need some help or just someone to talk you about the process of becoming a professional hockey player.

Well, once again thank you for dropping by Gilly’s Gab and I hope you continue to drop by to read my blog and if by chance you see Mr. Sweetland at a rink this winter make sure to say hi and let him know that he’s a great role model for the kids. 
Please stay tuned as well as I will have details in the next week or so on “Team EduSkate”.



  1. Sweetland is playing with the Clarenville Caribous... not the "CBN Stars"

  2. Thank you Silverhawk.... My bad as I thought he was with CBN.