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How We Play Hockey in Sweden

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Kids' sports in America has become insanely expensive, competitive between individuals at a very young age, and run by parents with emotional problems. In Sweden it is community-based, kids never get cut, and they just let it be fun. Yet tiny towns in Sweden produce multiple NHL All-stars. Coincidence? Let Victor Hedman explain.

Two words: fun practice.

For 12 years of his life, it was the same routine almost every day.

In the morning, I would go to school, and during every break, all the kids would go outside and play what we call “bandy.” This is like roller hockey, because you use a ball instead of a puck. However, you’re usually on ice. There’s a lot of snow in Sweden, so you can play anywhere that happens to be frozen over.

In the winter, that’s basically everywhere.

Then after school I would go to the rink to join my father. If my team didn’t have practice, I would watch another team practice. Whenever the professional MoDo team had a home game, I would be up in the standing section with all the ultras (the superfans), singing the songs.

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