This week-end Soren has his last hockey game of the season - so my my first official year as a "hockey mom" is coming to an end. At the beginning of the season I expressed some doubts about the big commitment of hockey, especially at such a young age. Well... now I'd have to say that Hockey Canada must know a thing or two about introducing kids to the sport! We had a great year.
First and foremost, we had amazing coaches. They were dedicated parents who enthusiastically led a bunch of five and six year olds through the tough process of learning a sport. They were always happy, always upbeat, and always gave a big welcoming hello to Soren when he arrived. After each game, a coach would give a short speech about the kid who had played hard or demonstrated good sportsmanship, and that child would win 'Player of the Game'! This was a big deal, and included a WWE plastic "winner" belt that the child got to keep until the next game. Soren loved being selected as player of the game.
While I was worried that hockey three times per week was too much, we normally only played twice. Technically there were monday night outdoor practices scheduled, but they were pretty much all cancelled due to poor weather, or rain. The week-ends alternated with one game and one practice, almost all at 8 or 9am. The games were fun because they are just that - games, and the practices were filled with important skill teachings, as well as fun games like British bulldog.
Soren really seemed to enjoy playing hockey. He rarely complained about going, and always gave it his best effort on the ice. His coaches told us that he was easy to coach - always smiling an eager to learn new things. We had fun as parents too - getting to know the other parents, and always having something to do on cold weekend mornings. I have no idea if he'll want to play agin next year, or in five years from now... but we had a great first season, so hockey is going down as a win in my books:)