You have pleaded, begged and yelled at your kids (and maybe even prayed a bit) yet they continue to live in sin. You have apologized one too many times to guests in your home for the stench protruding from the living room your hockey player believes to be their locker room. For some reason you buy more dryer sheets for the hockey bag then you use within the dryer itself.
If this sounds oh too familiar then I give you: The 10 Commandments of Hockey Equipment.
1. Thou Shalt Obey.
Until you are old enough to drive I am your chauffeur to games and practice. If you would like to arrive on time and have enough time to “warm-up” you will obey all commandments. You will also never use your lack of responsibility and organization as a reason for your tardiness.
2. Thou Shall Check Your Bag Before Leaving the House.
I do not want to drive two hours or more to a hockey game to find out you are missing a piece of equipment. Nor will I run to the local sports store and buy you a new piece of equipment to replace the one you forgot. If you plan on using it that day it better be in the bag before we leave the house.
3. Thou Shall Put Dirty Jerseys, Socks and Undergarments in the Laundry Basket.
Anything washable that has sweat on it must go into the laundry as soon as you get home. Submerging the items in water traps the smell. All items must go into the laundry right-side out and no items should be stuck together; Your underwear and pants are two separate items. They should enter the wash that way.
4. Thou Shall Not Store Hockey Bag in the Car.
Your equipment stinks…. Like really, REALLY bad. I don’t want that smell to ferment inside my car overnight. Which leads us to the next commandment…
5. Thou Shall Dry Hockey Equipment After Use.
When you get home from a practice or game you are to air out and dry your equipment immediately. Don’t think you’ll do it later because there is a 99.9% chance you will forget and all of your equipment will be soaking wet the next time you go to use it.
6. Thou Shall Remove All Tape From Socks and Dispose of it in the Trash Can.
I get it — you like to wrap your socks with clear tape so they stay put. I do not want to find traces of that tape rolled up in a ball on the floor, in my car or stuck to the inside of your hockey bag. Nor should the tape be used as a hockey ball in the rink’s locker room or garage — it isn’t cheap! Also, it is not my job to read your mind and know when you are low on tape or out altogether.
7. Thou Shall Place Dried Items Back into Hockey Bag Within 24 Hours.
Yeah, I get it — leaving your equipment out in the cold garage causes it to freeze which then defeats the purpose of you airing it out. Yet, my living room, dining room or whatever room you choose to sprawl your equipment out is NOT a locker room. Grandma bought you that overpriced drying rack made of three dollars worth of PVC pipe for a reason… USE IT. Your equipment does not have to lie out all week and must be placed back into your bag within 24 hours.
8. Thou Shall Not Keep Secrets.
The reason your equipment stinks so bad is because of bacteria. If you find a weird rash on your hands, on your crotch or anywhere else please let me know so we can get medical help immediately. The bacteria are literally eating away at your skin and needs to be stopped.
9. Thou Will Carry Their Own Bag.
You want to play hockey? You carry your own bag. Do not drag it across the mud or roll it through a huge puddle either due to laziness. You will also carry your own water bottle and stick too. No, I will not fill your water bottle for you nor will I wash it either.
10. Thou Shall Say “Thanks.”
You see all that equipment? It’s expensive and I paid for it. All I am asking from you is for you to treat it nicely so it stays in pretty good shape. A “Thank you” once in a while wouldn’t hurt. I am the one that gets you to practice despite how early they are, has watched every game you have ever played in and waited around for hours and hours in an ice cold rink for you.
By Cait DeStefano
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