In my humble opinion, the legacy that you leave behind determines the way in which you choose to live your life. Professionally or personally you should be setting an example and a standard for the next generation. You want to create a legacy that inspires, motivates, and drives the youth to be the best they possibly can be. This is not an easy task, especially with the world growing and constantly changing around us. However, it is our responsibility to pave the way for those after us. In the words of Herb Brooks, “We must pay a price, get back to the basics – accept new challenges. America was not built on a timid outlook but a bold resolve to see ourselves not where we are… but where we can go – what we can become”. Herb Brooks dedicated his life to USA hockey and even after his death he is still inspiring today’s youth players. The Herb Brooks Foundation is dedicated to growing the game of hockey and giving kids a positive hockey experience and an opportunity to learn life lessons through the game.
Most of the time people do not realize when they are making a huge impact on those around them and those who will come after. Herb was a great example of this; because of his leadership, hard work, and belief we were able to accomplish what was thought to be the impossible in 1980. Recently, at the start of the World Cup Hockey Tournament, there were numerous interviews with today’s generation of top USA hockey players. It was asked again and again why winning the World Cup of Hockey meant so much to them. Each player responded differently but all answered that the 1996 USA World Cup team inspired them when they were just boys. To them the 1996 team was made of players that they idolized and one day wanted to be. Comparably, the 1996 team answered similar about our 1980 team when they were asked what inspired them at their World Cup. ESPN stated, “The 1980 Miracle on Ice team started a renaissance of USA hockey.” Now if you asked us in 1980 if we had any idea that we were setting the standard for USA hockey we all would have answered no. We were not aware that we would leave a legacy that would motivate and inspire generations of men and women hockey players still today. That’s the beauty of leaving a legacy, you may never know when or how you have inspired someone. You owe it to yourself to lead by example, to challenge yourself, and to be the best you can possibly be today but then even better tomorrow.