Lessons From the Field: Passion is Everything

I’ve always been a big believer in self-motivation and creating your own moment. No one on Earth can find your passion. Not a single person can motivate you every single day. People can’t truly tell you what you like and don’t like. You can’t rely on others to do it.

The only person that can is you.

One of the things I’m so lucky for is that I’ve known what I’ve wanted to do since I was about 4 or 5 years old. A lot of people think Digital Productions showed up on my schedule one year, I tried it, seemed good at it, and the rest is history. But what you see every day on the news is actually the by-product of my entire childhood up to this point.

My dad is the equipment manager for the hockey team at Miami. Throughout my life, I’ve had countless opportunities with the team. I go to all the home games and hang around in the locker room like I’m a player. Throughout my life, I’ve travelled with them to so many different places. I’ve been to many road games, league tournaments, and Frozen Fours. I’ve also watched college hockey at NHL Arenas and even NFL Stadiums, with the opportunity to visit some of my favorite cities along the way.

The process of becoming a Division I college hockey player is long, hard, and exhaustive. There’s late night practices. Early morning games. Riding in a car until your legs lock up. And there’s the expectation to play well.  You have to be good at hockey, school, and life. And there are no off-days. To be noticed by coaches and recruited among masses of aspiring players, you must stand out.

One of the things that keeps players going along in the journey is their passion and love for the game. It’s cliche, but surprisingly true. If a hockey player doesn’t like what they’re doing enough to have the ambition or aspiration to go far, they’re not going to make it.

The same goes for any pursuit.

I work so hard at my broadcasting and being around sports because that is my passion. I love it so much that it never gets old. I think about it all the time. I plan. I visualize. I set goals. I have the drive, and what naturally comes with it is the ambition and aspiration to go far.

Passion is not something that is created. To me, it comes naturally. You just have a stronger feeling for some things than others.

I love sports and broadcasting, but my main passion is to broadcast hockey. In my early years whenever a national or regional media outlet came to cover Miami Hockey, I noticed what they did and thought it was the coolest thing in the world.

Suddenly, I wanted to announce the game. I wanted to interview the players. I wanted to be in the truck calling the shots. I wanted to be the cameraman. And seeing these people do their jobs is what made me want to do it. It was so fascinating. And I was hooked.

Those who don’t make it in the entertainment industry are often the ones that don’t believe in themselves, or aren’t equipped with the necessary drive or courage to take the long road to get there. They find something they think they will like, but in the end, their passion well dries out, and they start to make more and more excuses.

In September, I had the chance to interview John Walton for my segment on Brave TV, a Miami alum and the radio announcer for the NHL’s Washington Capitals. Last season, Walton and the Caps won the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history, knocking off the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in five games. Walton’s dream was always to make it to the National Hockey League as a broadcaster, and he took a hard road to get there.

After leaving Miami, he was the PA announcer for the Reds, and called minor league hockey in Cincinnati and Hershey, PA for 13 long years before getting the chance to announce hockey at the game’s highest level. While we were talking on camera, I couldn’t get over the experiences he had over the summer during the Stanley Cup celebrations. But I realized in the middle of it all, that for him, the passion for the game, combined with his long journey made it even more special. The fact that Walton never thought he would make it to the NHL in the first place, and now wears a Stanley Cup ring makes it such a fulfilling accomplishment.

He told me after the interview the key to making it is simple: keep driving, keep believing, never question your passion, and remember what you’re going for.

There will be hard times. But during those, reminding yourself why you’re in it will get things back on the rails.  

Those words will stick with me for a long time.

Patrick Geshan hosts “The Final with Patty G” weekdays on Brave TV.