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Junior & College Hockey
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Re: Worth it?

I think the "is it worth it" question is relevant to every sport, given the effort and commitment it takes to make a serious college athletic team. I think it comes up more in hockey because of the need (for most) to play two to three years of junior (with all that entails).

Our family is struggling with the idea of delaying college a year or two. I get the maturity argument you make, but there are several compelling counterarguments.

Regarding your "you'll have your life to party" after college argument ... I beg to differ. College was an extremely special time for most of us. Partying was just one of the reasons. Student athletes will miss out on a lot of that. Yes, student-athletes have their own, unique experiences and memories, but they unquestionably miss out on other things.

I think the answer to OP's question comes down to two simple things: 1) does you boy absolutely love the sport, to the point where playing at a high level is worth the sacrifices he will make, and 2) can he handle the rigors of devoting all that time and effort to a sport, and also succeed academically.

Re: Worth it?

My son is 19, going to age out of Tier 3 Jrs this year, Play D3 Hockey and study business. He's looking forward to every second of it wherever he ends up.

Re: Worth it?

Funny ... I was just having a discussion with one of my boys about this last night. He plays a different sport at the D1 level. His team is very good and almost won a national championship this year. But it's a ***** and he is considering quitting.

He feels like the sport is his job, and he is doing team-related activities almost all day, everyday. Practices, workouts, video, meetings, personal practice, etc. Every second of spare time is spent on academics, with basically no time to hang out, relax, party, be with the girlfriend, etc, like most college students.

He starting to debate whether to keep playing or to spend his last couple years living like everyone else. Either that, or dropping down to the D3 level at a top school where he can have a better school/sport balance. He knows he isn't going pro and, with college and sport nearing an end, having a little extra time to enjoy college life is compelling.
Son had a similar experience. His whole life had been a sports grind and then off to college and seeing others live their best life - school, study, drinks & laughs, hooking-up, staying up late, meeting a wide range of people, taking challenging majors and internships. . . Club sports don't seem like a bad idea.

Re: Worth it?

If you ask "is it worth it" then you are revealing you were not a college athlete. I played college baseball and missed out on a lot of typical college rites of passage but I never thought twice about it. Practicing and playing with my teammates was more appealing. If your kid loves the game, he'll feel the same about college hockey. If he doesn't, he probably won't make it anyway.

If only I could get one more Saturday morning bus ride and double doubleheader weekend...

Re: Worth it?

Not sure I agree. I also played a sport in college. Yes, I enjoyed playing in big games before huge crowds and a tv audience, but I felt like I worked for the university and had no life. And practices could be hell.

I often think I would be better off today if I had spent more time on academics and social activities.

It's a trade off.