Ask any prizefighter – or even any good hockey player – and he or she will tell you: the fight is won not in the ring, but in the preparation beforehand.
So while it will be incumbent upon your young skater to practice and prepare for success, we parents can set a good example.
Check the gear from head-to- toe and every neutral zone in between.
Chances are your hockey player grew a little, and maybe even grew out of some of the gear. Good coverage can help protect players and avoid injury from board collisions, sticks, and pucks.
Not sure if you can get another year out of the gear? Auburn, N.Y. high school hockey mom Jackie Reilly makes a trip to her local retail hockey store, and has them judge what’s good and what needs to be replaced. She also picks up spare blades, laces, mouth guards, and tape. Then it’s off to the drug store to stock up on ibuprofen and wipes. It all gets packed in a travel crate stored in her Suburban – along with hoodies, blankets, gloves, spare shirts, books, and odor ban travel spray.
Control Your Corner
As big or bad as any fighter may be, a prizefighter is only as good as his or her trainer (remember where Rocky was before Mickey taught him to eat lightning and … dispense with the thunder?).
So as the person in charge of the corner, make sure your player knows the rules. School comes first and a solid sleep schedule is vital. Family time, rest, and relaxation need to be in your lives too.
The Weigh In
The preseason team meeting can be one of the most important events of the season. It will help you determine costs, travel plans, goals for the team, the coach’s philosophy, and give you a chance to develop a good relationship with the coach.
Hockey mom friend Sharon Enck – aka “Puckgal” – has a heart-to-heart
with her goalie daughter before the start of each season, asking what she’s excited and nervous about, and what she want to work on.
“Of course, I don’t interrogate her all at once because she would probably just clam up if I did,” says Enck. “I drop these questions in during a car ride or on a walk to get the ‘real’ answers.”
She also does the nose a favor with a good old fashioned sterilization of smelly equipment. The motto for her entourage? “Begin fresh and end filthy.”
It may not have the same panache as Burgess Meredith’s infamous line to Rocky, but the sentiment remains – put in the time before you get ready to rumble, and you and yours will be able to proclaim to Adrian and everybody, “Yo, I did it!”
By Christie Casciano Burns, a hockey mom in Syracuse, N.Y.
She has authored two books, “The Puck Hog” and “Haunted Hockey in Lake Placid.”
Recently published articles
“How to Motivate Without going Overboard” published in USA Hockey Magazine, October 2016