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Taking Flight - You Don't Know Jack

At the end of the day, we each cultivate our own garden

by Jack Adams @J_Danglefest2 / Special to

Right wing Jack Adams was drafted by the Red Wings in the sixth round, 162nd overall, in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-5, 204-pound Boston native is one of four Red Wings prospects writing for our Taking Flight blog series, which chronicles the players' ups and downs as they work their way to becoming Red Wings. Adams just concluded his sophomore season at Union College, which is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Here is his fifth blog entry of 'You Don't Know Jack.'


  • You Don't Know Jack - Entry 5

    by Jack Adams

To be successful in any aspect of life, you need to possess two traits: staying true to yourself and loving what you do. To achieve, you have to be passionate. I'll never forget my dad telling me from a young age, "Jack, you can't live your life and make decisions based on what other people are going to think." That has always been glued to my brain and my decision-making process and essentially defines me as a human being.

In the college setting, living by those old-school values is more onerous, especially as a Division 1 athlete. Like everything in life, there are always repercussions for who you are. Being at a small school and playing hockey, everyone notices practically every single decision you make. It can be overwhelming, and honestly, sometimes just annoying. People are always going to pre-judge you for your status when they know nothing about you or your values, nor understand you as a human being. Nevertheless, as my dad has always reiterated, who really cares what other people think, right? Further, you can't let that consume you. It's just how it is.

Contrary to the stereotypical college scene, D1 athletes have to make decisions about how we spend our time, what matters most, and how to stay focused and driven. What matters to me is the people I love and what I love doing - playing hockey. My definition of "fun" is training, working on my craft, playing in front of 10,000 people and hanging out with the people I love. Staying focused on who and what you love should always be your top priority. Always. Hockey isn't a job, nor has it ever been remotely anything similar to that. Hockey is my passion; it's what I love doing.

Loving what you do in life is so essential for peak performance. Whether it be loving your sport, your job, your family, your passion - pouring yourself into that love is imperative for achievement. It's been noted that it takes doing something 10,000 times to become expert. Translate that into your sport and you'll be satisfied with the outcome.

With Mother's Day approaching - here's to my mom and all the mothers who helped us on our way, spent endless hours in rinks, drove us all over the place, kept us whole and supported our dreams and aspirations. No one gets to be a success as a D1 athlete - or anything else for that matter - alone. Thank you, mom, I love you. I'll always be your biggest fan.

With Mother's Day on the horizon, try and look at the bigger picture, take a step back and recognize the sacrifices and love that mothers across the world bestow upon us. Coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University famously said to his team once, "They show up all the time, all right, and we need to show up all the time. Be as tough as your mothers." When circumstances get difficult or seem like there's little hope left, remember your moms, and make an effort to live by the work ethic and toughness they abide by on a daily basis.

Love more, forgive more, be honest, and always remember the people who care about you, even when you might not believe it at the moment.

Love doesn't just go away. Love always wins. Trust it.


In 38 games this season with the Dutchmen, Adams finished with 22 points, notching 10 goals and doling out 12 assists. He tallied two game winning goals and his plus-13 was second best on his team.

As a collegian, Adams has played in 66 games for Union and has recorded 35 points, with 14 goals and 21 assists. He is a career plus-14.

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