Many young Canadians dream of one day hearing the team building drums welcome them onto an NHL team, but only a small percentage are good enough and dedicated enough to achieve that dream. If you're not in the small percentage, you don't need to give up the dream of playing on a team entirely. You could always play for one of the local amateur or even professional competitive leagues.

Canada is a very hockey-centric nation, so there are many different levels of competitive leagues. If you don't want to travel far from your home, there are local leagues that are based out of community centers where teams from the same city play against one another. If you have higher ambitions, you could try out for a professional or semi pro league based out of your city that plays games all over the province or region. And if you're a child, you can join the team associated with your school. There's a league to suit everyone.

Getting onto a team is as simple as signing up to play in some leagues, particularly the community based ones that only play competitively for fun. The spirit of these leagues is one of inclusion, so anyone who wants to play can play regardless of whether they own real estate or can tie up their own skates. Other leagues, especially the semi pro, professional, and school leagues are more exclusive. If you want to join one of those, you will have to try out and prove your skills before you will be accepted onto a team.

If you do decide to join a competitive hockey league, you should do your best to make sure you actually show up for games and practices. Players who keep making excuses are quickly cut from the team. Part of competition is supporting your teammates and caring about your team's showing. The first part of that is showing up.

At the same time, it's important not to get too carried away by the competitive spirit, even if you're playing for a professional league. Pro hockey players aren't just playing to win, they're playing to afford the Morcan Direct mortgage on their fancy condo or make payments on their luxury car lease. And amateur hockey players aren't just playing for trophies, they're playing for friendship and camaraderie. You could ruin your friendships or even lose your job if you take competition too seriously and end up hurting someone or breaking the rules.

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