What is your job?
'To stop the puck!'
Absolutely. And what is the net's job?
'Uh...hold pucks, be a target, be something for the players to aim at'
What does the net itself actually do?
'Stops and catches pucks!'
So doesn't that mean we both have the same job? Are we on the same team as the net? If we stop pucks and the net also stops pucks, then doesn't that mean we serve the same function?
'Yeah, I guess...'
So then why do we care when the net stops the puck instead of us? Why does that matter?
'Because one is a goal and the other is not!'
Well does the puck care?
Does the puck itself care whether you stop it or if the net stops it? Does it matter to our friend here, the puck?
'No, it doesn't care much, just as long as it doesn't hit the glass...the glass hurts. The glass chips and breaks the puck'
Absolutely! So then the puck really doesn't care who stops it, it just wants to be stopped by something. So then why do we get so frustrated or embarrassed when the net stops the puck for us?
'I don't know...'
Why do we make such a big deal out of a puck crossing a line between the posts and hitting the net versus a puck that crosses a line and goes in the corner? A goal is only a puck crossing a line. The puck crosses all sorts of lines! It's just a puck crossing a line.
'It seems like you're saying that goals don't matter...'
Well yes! Yes I am. A goal is just a puck that crosses a line and gets stopped by the net before it hits the glass behind it. Doesn't that take a lot of pressure off? It's just a puck. You can move on and see another one. You'll get another chance.
'Are you saying you don't want to win?'
Of course not! I LOVE winning. I'm super competitive. SUPER competitive. If there's something to compete for and win at, I want to win at it. The difference is putting so much emotional weight into a puck crossing a line. Pucks cross lines. It doesn't make you a worse person. It doesn't mean you're worthless.
It's just your teammate, the net, stopping the puck for you.