The Child in Sport: An open letter by Ice Hockey pro Johan Forsberg

jOHAN f 2

Johan Forsberg  is a professional Ice Hockey player at Luleå Hockey. In October 2015 he posted a stunning open letter to ALL young Swedish Ice Hockey players on his Facebook page. This was a response to the ongoing, often polarised debate in Sweden with regard to early talent identification, early selection and elite programs. This emotional message is relevant to all youth sports. I urge you to share it with as many people as possible. This is a must read for all children, parents, coaches, Governing Bodies and club stakeholders.

To all young ice hockey players

I never got to play in TV- Pucken (An elite Swedish national Ice Hockey tournament for district teams of boys under 15 years of age)

I was very bad at skating, among other things and I have not been much better since.

I remember the tears and shame. I wanted to quit playing ice hockey

I threw the equipment in a corner at home in the garage and felt no joy for my friends who got a place in the elite camp.

I felt no joy

Only sorrow

Real sorrow

But I wiped my tears and continued to train, continued to have fun and tried to convince myself that sport had a deeper meaning

Community, joy, dreams

And also other tears

Now I sit hear smelling of sweat after another day at work as a professional hockey player

I never really learned to skate properly

But I learned that everything does not end even if it feels like it has

That life, sport and the future is what it is


And to all young ice hockey players

Support each, be a good friend

Have fun and enjoy

Sport is more that blood, sweat and tears

More than sorrow

Don’t forget that

Love and Respect

Johan Forsberg – Luleå Hockey.

Johan F


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