Monthly Archives: March 2013

Face Your Fears

Everybody Loves a Happy Ending

No tears! No fears!

My son just started the spring hockey season with a new program (his fall/winter program does not have spring hockey) and I have taken on the role of team manager. My boss always used to tell me that I raised my hand too fast – that trigger hand got me again.

Having spent the past 6 months watching the queen of all team managers at work, I figure if I do my job half as well, I’ll be the shining star of spring hockey managers. And that is my goal – to be crowned Mrs. Team Manager, complete with sash and bouquet of flowers. It better happen.

My first job was to gather jerseys and get names put on the back. I took the advice of those more wizened and did this during the first practice. That worked out as the jerseys were done the next day and we’ll definitely have them for the first game. I am also putting together the roster and printing roster stickers for the game scoresheets. So far, so good.

I do think, however, that I have already uncovered my challenge – getting other parents to volunteer. First, we need someone to stand in the penalty box during games. You are essentially the butler – you open the door when a kid gets a penalty and you open it again to let them out when their time is served. Not a difficult task, but so far, no takers.

Second, for this game, is someone to handle the scoresheet. A bit more complicated – you have to write down the goals and goal scorers and penalties and shots on goal. The latter is probably the hardest because what counts as a shot on goal is pretty specific and not everything the goalie touches is a shot (a lesson I’ve learned along the way). Sometimes getting the goal scorers and assists right can also be difficult, but only because the referees sometimes aren’t sure and they give you numbers of players that don’t exist or give you the wrong players. Sorting that out can take a few minutes. I did get a volunteer for this, someone who has ample experience doing it, but otherwise – crickets.

So, I will likely have to devise some way to motivate volunteers so that this one experienced parent doesn’t become our scoresheet guy and I don’t end up in the penalty box every game. I’m thinking a forced sign up sheet might work. Or piling on the guilt in repeated emails. Or maybe I’ll develop a video with some sort of pep talk about facing your fears and taking on those tasks that scare you. Something out of a sports movie, like Miracle – “This is your time!”

I don’t even want to think about getting someone to run the clock. Now, THAT is scary stuff!

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End of the Road

The season started back in September. Since then, we’ve spent two nights a week plus almost every weekend, usually twice a weekend, at an ice rink. We have travelled more miles than I can think to count, spent countless hours in the car, packed and unpacked the hockey bags a thousand times, and experienced the typical highs and lows that come with rooting for a favorite team.

And now it is coming to an end.

Mile 0

While I am thrilled at the idea that our weekends will be somewhat freed up (at least the games will be more local and thus require less of our day), I suspect that I am going to experience some withdrawal and the emotions that go along with that. I have really enjoyed getting to know the kids and the parents on the team and I think we have all become friends. I certainly have spent more time with them than I have with any other friends I have. There is a bond that comes with all the time and energy we expend on behalf of our boys and the team as a whole.

Since we don’t live near most of the team and none of the boys go to school with my son, he won’t have regular contact with them during the off-season. And he is one of only 4 boys on the team that is aging up next season, so he won’t be playing with this group again. I know that we’ll bond again with whichever team he plays on next year, but seeing as this was our first time on a travel team of this intensity, I think we will always remember our Squirt B teammates as a special group.

It is not over quite yet, we still have one more tournament to go. So I plan to go and enjoy every minute and revel in the camaraderie that results from a group focused on one goal – the success and well-being of our favorite team.

So for one last time this season – GOOOOOOOO DOGS!!!

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