So, I wanted to take a shot at this Guypothetical thing and here is the hypothetical situation that I came up with.

You are presented with three different scenarios concerning your sports career:

Option Number 1: You’re an undrafted hockey player out of college, you’re a small forward that doesn’t have nearly enough skill to make it in the NHL. No team wants you on their pro-roster, but the Los Angeles Kings have offered you a try out spot on their ECHL, that’s two levels below NHL quality hockey, team the Ontario Reign. The contract pays worse than a high school teacher. Plus, you’ll be on the third line. Fans will still come to see you play but you won’t ever draw a crowd of more than 10,000 people. Opening night MIGHT garner a crowd of 10,000. But hey, at least you’re being paid to play hockey at a somewhat decent level that some would never see no matter how much they practiced. Do you play simply because you love the game regardless of what level you’re at? Or do you just call it quits and seek a new career path?

Option Number 2: You are a college superstar. You hold the NCAA record for most points in a season and you are a highly touted prospect that numerous top level NHL teams have scouted and shown serious interest in. The only problem is, you just suffered your second concussion in the last two months and doctors warn that if you get another concussion there could be serious consequences such as brain damage, paralysis, and other severe health issues that will END your career or even end your life. NHL teams are still interested in you but they’re offering a contract that says if you do get injured…your contract becomes void and you do not collect any money unless you play. So, do you play for a top NHL team and risk your career and possibly your life with every game? Or, do you cancel your dream because of the very serious risks involved in playing?

Option Number 3: You’re not a college superstar, in fact you’re on the third line of your college team and you barely get five minutes of ice time a game. You’re not good at all. But you try really hard during practice, work out as hard as you can before and after practice and hope that will get you noticed because you REALLY want to play at the next level. All you want to do is play. No team even gives you a second look. You can’t even get an ECHL contract like the first guy, which would have been a dream for you at this point. However, in talking to you and seeing your physique, the Minnesota Wild have realized you would make a spectacular weight training coach. They offer to take you on as a Weight Trainer’s Assistant so you can learn the ropes and eventually become the head Trainer in the weight room. Now, do you take the offer just to be around the superstars? You are still devastated because you WANT TO PLAY. You don’t want to sit on the sideline and you’re not content watching from the sidelines while other people live your dream. Do you suck it up and take the job, just being happy to be employed by an NHL Team? Or do you call it quits and look for a new career?

So what it really boils down to is this, how BAD do you want to play? If you’re not a hockey guy then just replace the names with your sport’s teams and their lower level leagues. If you’re NFL then just imagine a lower quality of football like the UFL or even the XFL when it was around. Do you just want to be around your favorite sport even if your dream was to play? Would you play even if it meant possibly ending your career or risk your health? Or are you happy just playing at the lowest possible level because you’re at least playing?

To Play or Not to Play, that is the question.