It’s okay to miss sports

I feel empty.

I feel lost.

I feel afraid of who I am without sports.

And it’s okay if you do, too.

I know sports are so much more than the game we play, and I know you know that, too. Even if you didn’t realize it before, you know it now.

My mental health hasn’t been great. I rely on sports to help stay mentally healthy. Being involved in sports impacts all areas of my life: When I have anxiety, sports keep me calm. When I feel depressed, sports lift me up. When I doubt myself, sports give me confidence. When I feel alone, sports give me my people. When I feel lost, sports help me find my way. When I’m playing sports, I’m me.

I had a dream the other night: no matter how much I tried or how quickly I moved, I couldn’t get to the rink fast enough and I couldn’t put my equipment on properly and I ended up missing the game. It was like no matter how hard I tried, I’d never make it to the ice.

Unfortunately, that dream isn’t far from reality right now.

Sports aren’t just the games we play. Whether you play competitively, play for fun, coach, are a fan, or involved in any other way—you know sports are more than a game.

Here’s the thing: you are allowed to miss sports. You are allowed to be angry that you can’t play. You are allowed to be sad without them. You are allowed to miss your teammates. You are allowed to struggle. You are allowed to want them back so that you can be you again.

Feeling this way doesn’t lessen what’s going on in the world. You are allowed to miss the things that bring you joy while still understanding and respecting the gravity of the world right now.

Give yourself permission to grieve what you’ve lost.


Sports will be back, I promise you that. I know it feels impossible right now, but they will be back. They may not look the same as seasons end and your time with certain teams come to a close, but you will find joy in sports again.

And when they are back, how will you have spent the time without them? Will you be stronger? Will you be a better teammate? Will you be more mentally prepared? Will you have learned a new skill? Or maybe, you’ll simply be more grateful for the game.

I know some days it’s hard. Please don’t give up.

There will be days when you can’t look at your hockey stick, a soccer ball, the dumbbells sitting on the floor, but there will also be days that you’ll need them.

Use this time to work on yourself, work on your skills, connect with your teammates (virtually), and, above all, use this time to appreciate sports and their impact on your life.

Also know this: It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to admit your feelings, whatever they are. It’s okay to not be okay.


You are an athlete, even if you can’t play. You are a coach, even if you can’t be on the bench. You are a sports professional, even if you can’t work.

Gratitude. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of gratitude and never taking our lives and freedoms for granted.

Sports are a privilege. Some people don’t get to play the sport you do, some people won’t get to pursue their sports dreams like you will, some people won’t benefit from sports the way you do.

Are you going to take that for granted?

I know you’re in pain right now. I know your dreams are crushed. I know you’re feeling lost. I know it’s hard.

But let that be a reminder of the power of sports. Let that be a guide for where you let sports take you, because if you let them, sports can take you places you never could have imagined.

You will be back to sports.

Some will go back naturally, others will have to work a little harder, but you will be back. And it’s not going to look the same, but however it looks, let this be true: sports are what help make you you and nothing can take that away from you.

You are an athlete, even if you can’t play. You are a coach, even if you can’t be on the bench. You are a sports professional, even if you can’t work.

I’m proud of you for making it this far.

You will get through this and you will be stronger because of it.

Yours in sport,


If you want to share your story, submit it here.

You never know who might need the words from your soul.


NOT YOUR DADDY’S HOCKEY BRAND & probably not your mom’s either