He skates on the ice, his heart pounding fast,
nervously awaiting the game winning pass.
The puck hits his stick! He shoots... and he misses.
There's a groan from the crowd, some boos and some hisses.
A thoughtless voice cries, "You lost it, you bum."
Tears fill his eyes. The game is no longer fun.
Although in his mind he may be NHL,
that's no reason for you to make his life hell.
Perhaps you're let down he's not the best in the game
but he isn't there playing for your name and fame.
Step back and recall what you're really there for -
It isn't to win or to run up the score.
Help him achieve and feel that he's great -
those are your goals, not to degrade and berate.
There are clearly doubts this boy will ever turn pro,
Yet there is certainly no doubt he will continue to grow.
Perhaps he won't be the best senior player around
but he will be a father, a citizen and a man in our town.
For you will be remembered ------
as either the fool at the bench gate
or the gentleman who gave to better a fate.
So as you yell and implore please don't forget,
he's just a little boy and not a man yet.
Your actions can help him mature and stand tall
or show that you, and not he, is the one who is small.