you read the rest of this book, you will be reminded about the “silver
lining” often. The following little story will give you an idea of the
significance of the title. Once you have finished reading the story, the
message will become clearer during the rest of this chapter.
upon a time there was a very rich man who couldn’t understand why he was
unhappy. He had wealth beyond imagination, but he was always in a
miserable mood and lived in a huge mansion by himself. Once day he visited
a wise old man and confided in him about his dilemma.
wise old man took him to a window. “Look out there,” he said.
rich man looked out into the street.
do you see?” the wise old man asked.
see men and women and little children,” answered the rich man.
the wise old man took the rich man to a mirror.
do you see now?” he asked.
see myself,” the rich man answered.
the wise old man explained, “Behold, the window is made of glass and the
mirror is glass also. But the glass of the mirror is covered with a silver
lining on one side. No sooner is silver added than you cease to see others
and see only yourself.”
rich man left the wise old man and drove to his sister’s house for his
annual Christmas Eve visit to deliver some very expensive gifts that he
had purchased for her family. When he arrived at the door his sister, her
husband, and their five-year-old daughter warmly greeted him. His sister
and her husband were of modest means, living in a small apartment, yet
they were always happy. The rich man was still confused from the advice
given by the wise old man.
was just then that the little girl gave the rich man one of the most
touching moments of his life. The beautiful child held out a small pie
plate on which was pasted a tiny angel. It didn’t matter that the angel
looked like a clown, nor that it was pasted on crooked. What mattered is
that the little girl had touched the heart of the old man and opened up a
whole new world to him as if it was a book that he’d never been able to
the first time that he could remember, there were tears in his eyes as the
little girl gave him a big hug and asked him to stay for a while to play
with her. When he left several hours later, he realized that she had given
him one of life’s finest gifts. When she kissed him good-bye and told
him that this was the best Christmas she ever had, he suddenly understood
what the wise old man was trying to tell him earlier in the day.
he drove home that evening the stars in the sky seemed to be shining a
little bit brighter. From that day onward, the rich man stopped spending
time looking in mirrors, and instead, looked through every window he could
find. He discovered that real joy comes not from ease or riches, but from
doing something worthwhile for others. The rich man never again felt
is our hope that HOCKEY “Without The Silver Lining”, will
become your window. After you finish reading this book you should have a
better appreciation for the game and how it is played. You should also
have a better understanding of how others view the game and why they act
as they sometimes do.
AN EYE-OPENING DEMONSTRATION
have prepared a “Minor Hockey
Enhancement Workshop” for parents, coaches and players. Soon
it will be available on video and will be a useful tool for minor hockey
administrators who wish to provide perspective for their members. Each session
begins with the following demonstration.
ask for eight volunteers to come forward from the audience. Each one is
given a different hat with one of the following names engraved on the
front. HOME COACH; VISITING COACH; HOME PARENT; VISITING PARENT; HOME
PLAYER; VISITING PLAYER; REFEREE; FAN.
volunteers are then asked to sit beside each other on one side of a long table,
with their backs to the audience.
large mirror is then placed on the table, with the back of the mirror
facing the volunteers. Along
the top of the mirror is the word, HOCKEY.
at a time, the volunteers are asked to step around to the front of the
mirror and sit on a chair, out of sight of the audience and the other
volunteers. Once facing the
mirror, the volunteer is asked to describe what he/she sees.
answer is obvious. The person indicates that he/she sees the word HOCKEY and
sees himself, identified by the role indicated on the particular hat he
is wearing. Further questioning reveals that he is aware that there are
other people behind the mirror, but at the time, he only sees himself.
each of the volunteers have had an opportunity to go through this process,
we take a couple of minutes to explain that one of the main problems with
hockey today, is not really a problem at all. It is merely a fact of life.
Once we accept the fact that each and every one of us is the most
important person in our life, it becomes clear. When we look at hockey,
what we see clearly is our self. We have needs and concerns and those
stand out over all of the others. We know there are other people involved
in the game, but we see our self first and foremost. This is not a bad
thing. It is reality. Once this is pointed out, we continue with the
time, the mirror is removed and replaced with a similar sized sheet of
clear glass. Along the top of the glass will be the words,
HOCKEY…WITHOUT THE SILVER LINING. We then explain to the audience and to
the volunteers that only thing that is different from the first
demonstration is that we have removed the silver backing from the mirror.
at a time, the volunteers are asked to step around to the other side of
the glass. Once facing the glass, the volunteer is again asked to identify
what he sees.
time, the person states that he sees all of the other volunteers with
their identities indicated on their hats. He also states that he sees a
lot of unidentified people in the background because he is facing the
person is asked if he sees himself. The answer is no. The person is then
asked if he is aware that he is there even though he cannot see himself.
The answer is yes. He is then asked to describe what the people whom he
sees through the glass are doing. The answer is that they are all looking
then go through this process until all of the volunteers who went to the
mirror in the first instance have had a chance to see the difference
without the silver lining.
GAME FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW
demonstration clearly shows that until you remove the silver lining from
the mirror, you see only yourself. You know that there are many others in
the background, behind the mirror, but you can’t, or don’t want to see
them. You are the only one who matters and that is why you are the only
one you see in the mirror.
This is often referred to as "willful blindness".
this is where it gets interesting. There are many people who swear that
they are in hockey for the good of the kids and to give something back to
the community. They are volunteering their time and sacrificing their own
personal life to benefit others. This is all very noble, and volunteers
are all doing wonderful things for the sport, but no matter how good
one’s intentions may be, when you look at hockey through your own eyes,
if you are like the vast majority of people, you still see the game
largely from your own point of view. If you are a parent of the home team,
you see everything from the point of view of a parent from the home team.
The effect of the decisions and actions of the home coach, the visiting
coach, the opposing parents, the referee, etc. all impact you from your
point of view as a parent of the home team.
If you are a coach of the home team, you see the game from a point
of view that is completely different from the point of view of one of the
parents of your team.
is important for you to understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong
with this. It is normal for you to feel this way. What is equally
important, however, and central to the purpose of this book, is that you
are aware of this fact and admit that you view hockey from your particular
point of view and that this point of view may be preventing you from
seeing the game through the eyes of all other participants.
SILVER LINING CHANGES EVERYTHING
you remove the silver lining from the back of the mirror, you no longer
see yourself, but now you can see all of the other people involved in the
game. If you are a parent, you see the parents of the opposing team; you
see your coach and the other coach; you see the parents of the children on
your team; you see the players on your team and on the opposing team; you
see the referee; and you see that there are many other unidentified people
in the background. Furthermore, all of the other people are looking
directly at you, watching your every move. You don’t know what they are
thinking. You don’t know how your actions are affecting them, but you
know they are watching.
or without the “silver lining”, you are the same person. You haven’t
changed. When you looked into the mirror a few moments before, you were
the same person as you are now. But when you looked into the mirror, the
only person you saw was yourself. Everyone else was still in the room,
looking at the back of the mirror. They knew you were there, but they
couldn’t tell what you were doing or what you were thinking because
there was a silver lining in the way. They have not changed either. They
are in the same place as before and are the same people as before.
the silver lining, everything is different. Not only are you aware of all
of the other people in the game, but you are aware that they are all
watching you. There were there all the time, but you just couldn’t see
them. You still don’t know exactly what they are feeling or thinking,
but at least you can see them. Interestingly enough, when you remove the
silver lining from the back of the mirror, it allows you to see everyone
else, but you don’t notice yourself. Your feelings and concerns are
still there as before, but you are not focused on yourself, you are
focused on all of the others around you.
OUR GOAL IS
TO REMOVE THE SILVER LINING
goal of this book and our web site After
The Whistle is to remove the
silver lining and help you see hockey from the points of view of all
others in the game. As a
parent, if you are aware of the feelings and concerns of the coaches, the
players, the officials and opposing coaches, players and parents, your
attitude towards everything about the game may change. Also, by
understanding the rules of the game, and how they are administered, you
will become more knowledgeable and react to game situations in a more
you have finished reading this book you will look at hockey without the
silver lining. You will be more aware of what is truly important to you as
an individual and in your own particular role, be that a parent, a coach,
a referee or a fan. This
entire book is all about perspective. It is our opinion if people are
given a better appreciation of how others view the game of hockey, it will
result in a much-improved attitude and alleviate many of the problems
which plaque the sport today.
emphasize the main philosophy of this book, I want to share another story
with you that I came across years ago. I am not sure who wrote the story,
but I am sure he was a hockey fan.
glanced nervously at the clock on the kitchen wall. Five minutes before
midnight. Her parents were expected to arrive home any minute. It was her
parent’s anniversary and she wanted to do something special for them.
carefully put the finishing touches on the chocolate cake she was
frosting. It was the first time in her 12 years that she had tried to make
a cake from scratch, and to be honest; it wasn’t exactly a culinary
triumph. The cake was lumpy and because she had run out of sugar, the
frosting was bitter.
then there was the way the kitchen looked. Imagine a huge blender filled
with all of the fixings for chocolate cake - including the requisite
bowls, pans and utensils. Now imagine that the blender is turned on - high
speed - with the lid off. Do you get the idea?
Cindy wasn’t thinking about the mess. She had created something that was
special to her - a masterpiece of flour and sugar rising out of the
kitchen clutter. She was anxious for her parents to return home from their
date so she could present her anniversary gift to them. She turned off the
kitchen lights and waited excitedly in the darkness for them to arrive.
When at last she saw the flash of the car headlights, she positioned
herself in the kitchen doorway. By the time she heard the key sliding into
the front door, she was on the verge of exploding and couldn’t wait to
share her excitement.
parents tried to slip in quietly, but Cindy would have none of that. She
flipped on the lights dramatically and trumpeted: “Ta-daaaaa!” She
gestured grandly toward the kitchen table, where a slightly off-balance,
two-layer chocolate cake awaited their inspection.
her mother’s eyes never made it all the way to the table.
look at this mess!” she moaned. “How many times have I talked to you
about cleaning up after yourself?”
Mom, I was only...”
should make you clean this up right now, but I’m too tired to stay up
with you to make sure you get it done right,” her mother said angrily.
“So you’ll get up early and do it first thing in the morning.”
Cindy’s father interjected gently, “take a look at the table.”
know! It’s a mess!” his wife said coldly. “The whole kitchen is a
disaster. I can’t stand to look at it.” She stormed up the stairs and
into her room, slamming the door shut behind her.
a few moments, Cindy and her father stood silently, neither one knowing
what to say. At last she looked up at him, her eyes moist and red. “She
never saw the cake,” she said.
– Without The Silver Lining” is all about seeing “the cake”. Far too many
people in hockey have spent their time and energies identifying the
“mess”, focusing on the “problems” of hockey today. We can all
see the concerns about parent pressure and violence in the stands; coaches
who are in it for the wrong reasons; poor refereeing and referee
development; incompetent administration; the expense of hockey; violent
players; etc. However, if we concentrate too heavily on all of the
negative issues and concerns of the day, we run the risk of being unable
to see the “cake” – the good thing that came out of the mess, and
the thing that was the ultimate goal in the first place.
this book you will see that the “cake” is the
“game of hockey itself”. You see the game and appreciate hockey
in a way you may never have experienced. When you truly see and appreciate
the game for what it is, you will discover solutions to the problems. You
will see that the mess can be cleaned up. All messes can be cleaned up.
the mess is cleaned up, not only will still have “the cake”, but you
will enjoy the cake like never before.