Tag Archives: Hockey

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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A Hockey Obsession

I was reflecting on the ride home from practice last night how hockey is really all-consuming. More so than any other sport I’ve ever participated in. I’m not sure why – the cost is high, but it can be for other sports. The time commitment is huge, but I don’t know that it is significantly more than some other activities. Maybe it is because my interest in the sport extends well beyond my son’s team and his development as a player. For example, I  have found myself so much more immersed in the NHL since we embarked on our hockey journey. I know the teams, the players (even the player’s numbers), and even some random hockey trivia and statistics (although I still do not come close to what the male brain seems to be able to absorb and spit back out at a moment’s notice).

You’d think that after spending so much time at ice rinks watching hockey that I’d be tired of it and want to focus on anything but hockey. But that is where the consuming nature of hockey kicks in – I find that what I want is MORE hockey. I’d rather watch a hockey game than follow any TV show on a regular basis. That includes Downton Abbey, a apparent obsession for many of my friends and acquaintances (I’m almost ashamed to admit that I just realized it wasn’t “Downtown Abbey” the other day).

I do admit to being a bit conflicted, however, as the NHL lockout ends. I am thrilled to have hockey back and can’t wait to see the Capitals back on the ice. But I closely followed news during the lockout and I am a bit peeved at everyone involved. More at the owners than the players, but kinda at both. I’m sure I’ll watch games on TV, but not so sure I want to spend hundreds of dollars going to games as regularly as we have the past couple of seasons. We’ll see what happens, I suppose. I’m sure my son will be pushing to go to games – for him, the negotiations and money and all that is of no importance. All he cares about is that he’ll see his favorite players again. And he is overjoyed.

So, as I said at the opening of this post, hockey is all-consuming. The last time there was a lockout and an entire season was nixed, I didn’t even notice. Now, I have to somehow deal with my own hurt feelings over what has transpired the past few months. How bizarre is that? And yes, I do realize it is just a game and that there are many other very important things to focus my energy on today.

According to those in the know, that would include catching up on what I’ve missed on Downton Abbey. 

 

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Zombies Don’t Climb Trees

This post can be subtitled, “And other wisdom picked up on the way to hockey practice.” We typically carpool with a teammate and I am audience to two 10-year olds for 45 minutes or so each way. Having only one child, I don’t get to experience “boy talk” too often and it is quite amusing.

Once, during an intense Pokemon game in the backseat, I kept hearing about the different powers each character had (I really don’t understand that game at all and I suspect they both are making most of it up). Anyway, it appears that Pokemon is not as innocent as it may look, seeing how they kept talking about certain characters’ “psychotic” powers. Hmmm… I want to believe they meant “psychic” but since I don’t know the game, I can’t be sure.

Another trip included a discussion about songs on the radio and led to the lament that all songs were about girls and love. Imagine that said with the tone of “girls – ick, cooties.” Yep, gonna have to get used to that, boys.

I also recently learned that you should NEVER wake up a sleepwalker. If you do his or her head will spin around. That would be bad.  I didn’t want to ask if pea soup-colored vomit was also involved.  Or priests.

The latest trip revealed a little known fact (little known to me, at least) that zombies don’t climb trees. In fact, no monster can climb trees. Were you aware of that? I was not, but not having ever researched the climbing ability of various monsters, I am not in a position to dispute that fact.

I eagerly await what else I will learn during these weekly trips. I may just end up figuring out the secret to life.

If not, I at least now know what to do when being chased by a zombie.

Zombies Invade San Francisco!

Climb the nearest tree.

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You Know the Type

I have participated in organized sports since I was 8 years old. I have spent time watching my brothers play and have even dabbled in coaching myself. And now I spend a lot of time watching my son compete. So of course I have had experience with sports parents, both good and bad. I have also read a lot of blogs and articles about “those” parents. You know the type – call them passionate, call them invested, or, in extreme cases, call them just plain mean. I just read this article that nicely sums up how parents can be “good” or “bad” and it is worth a read.

We are very fortunate that the parents on our team are cool. There is no one who screams negative things at the boys during games or openly berates his or her child before, during, or after games. I mostly hear supportive, positive things and everyone seems to get along pretty well. I like that. As the goalie mom, I like that a lot. I have read (and heard) some stories about how goalie parents can’t sit with the others during games out of fear of overhearing how badly their child is playing or how it is all the goalie’s fault. Now, I don’t always sit with the other parents, but that is not because I don’t want to hear it. It’s because I am too jumpy to sit still and need space to pace. It’s my issue, not anyone else’s.

This past weekend at the tournament we were playing in I ran across some REALLy nice parents from an opposing team. I don’t want to get into any stereotyping, but I will say that these parents were from a southern team and, in my experience, you do run into nice people in the south. Not that there aren’t nice folks everywhere, but these folks were full of southern charm. They had only nice things to say about other teams and even criticism was pretty tame, like telling us that a team we had yet to face was “pretty small.” Now, I should note that some of the parents became my best friends when they came up to me and starting talking about how fantastic our goalie was during the finals. Since it was my kid in the net for that game, my feelings about these parents may be more favorable than they deserve. Ok, so they totally had me at “great goalie.” I’m a proud mama, what can I say?

To contrast, I did stand near one parent who was pretty awful, screaming at the ref and basically talking trash. And his kid, the goalie, was out on the ice pushing and hitting other players who came too close in his crease, collecting all kinds of penalties. Coincidence?

There is a great resource that I found a couple of years ago that gives great tips on how to be good sports parents for our kids. It is called Responsible Sports and you can sign up for emails that include short reminders and links to videos and articles for parents. I recommend giving it a try.

It is not easy to decide what to say and when to my son after practices and games. Sometimes I want to talk about something but he clearly does not. I am learning to let things go as he does and I am finding that he will bring things up when he wants to talk about them. So I am working on waiting and following his lead.

And I can always go and pace.

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