A teenage hockey player’s journey is marked by passion, dedication, and sacrifice. One of the many challenges they face is the emotional toll of being uprooted from their homes to pursue their dreams, which often goes unnoticed. For many, this means billeting with unfamiliar families in different cities or towns. While this experience can provide new opportunities and friendships, it can also cause intense
Homesickness is more than just missing home. It includes a deeper yearning for familiar surroundings,
routines, loved ones, and the sense of security that comes with home. This feeling can be amplified for a
teenager due to their age’s vulnerability, the pressures of a demanding sport, and the expectations to
adapt and excel in an unfamiliar environment.
Why Billeted Teen Hockey Players Might Feel Homesick
- Separation from Family and Friends: At a time when social connections are essential, being separated from one’s support system can be emotionally draining.
- Getting Used to a New Environment: It can be difficult to adjust to a new home, school, and team.
- Pressure to Perform: When combined with homesickness, the additional pressure to perform in
hockey can be especially difficult.
- Cultural Differences: Players may be transferred to completely unfamiliar cultural zones, adding an
extra layer to their adjustment period.
Five Coping Techniques for Homesick Teen Hockey Players
- Stay Connected: It is easier than ever to stay in touch in the digital age. Regular video calls with family and friends can be extremely relaxing. Sharing experiences, both good and bad, can help to bridge the gap.
- Create a Homey Environment: Personalizing one’s living space with familiar items such as photos,
mementos, or even a favourite blanket can provide comfort. This not only provides comfort, but also a sense of familiarity in an unfamiliar environment.
3 Participate in Social Activities: Participating in team gatherings, school clubs, or community events can aid in the formation of new friendships. Making local connections can help a new location feel more like home.
- Establish a Routine: Sticking to a routine can bring about a sense of normalcy. Routines can anchor a person amidst change, whether it is setting a specific time for studies, workouts, or even leisure.
- Seek Help: It is critical for players to understand that it is acceptable to seek assistance. Speaking
about their feelings to coaches, counsellors, or even teammates can provide much-needed emotional support. Perhaps, teams, may even have dedicated personnel to assist with such problems.
Homesickness is a natural reaction to change, especially for teenagers who are still figuring out who they
are. Recognizing the problem and providing appropriate assistance can make all the difference. A
teenage hockey player’s journey is as much about personal development as it is about the sport. They
can not only overcome homesickness with the right strategies and support, but also emerge stronger
and a more resilient person.