Gooooooaaaaaal!

August 28th, 2011

Small Boy scored his first goal in a proper hockey tournament today; he tipped in a nice rebound after the opposing goalie deflected a shot (though Small Boy’s team still lost the game and ended up third out of four teams in the tournament). The tournament was fun, and gave me an opportunity to continue this strange new friend-making adventure I seem to be embarking upon, but my favorite part (aside from the Small Boy’s goal, of course) was this:

The parents were only allowed to help kids tie their skates. Everything else, the players had to do themselves. This is already strongly encouraged at training, but something about it being Game Day made the kids take it more seriously. I hung out in a corner of the locker room until it was time to lace up Small Boy’s skates, then went out into the hallway. Shortly before the trainers closed the door to the locker room, I went to take a peek to see what jersey number Small Boy was wearing (they don’t have numbers at practice but rather train in practice jerseys) and the kids were just putting on their jerseys. It can be tricky for a little kid to pull a jersey on over their shoulder pads, and then the jerseys often cling to the velcro straps on the elbow pads (and sometimes pull them open again), and I usually help Small Boy with this. How was he going to do this, I wondered, and then saw that kids had buddied up and were helping each other with their jerseys. Small Boy was straightening the jersey of Pro Defenseman’s Kid, so I turned and went back into the hall. They clearly had it covered.

They know what they’re doing, these coaches. They’re developing the whole player, not just the bits on the ice. Evidence that it’s working: after we got clobbered 18-2 in the first game, the team surrounded the goalie and everybody patted him on the head, the shoulder, encouraging taps to the shin pads with their sticks, and they all lined up together to shake hands with the winning team. Then they huddled around the coach and got ready for the next game.


One Response to “Gooooooaaaaaal!”

  1. Trish on August 29, 2011 10:17 am

    Oh my goodness, the image of him helping his buddies with their jerseys, and vice versa, brought a lump to my throat. How gorgeous.

    And then I kept reading… more lumps in throats with the boys supporting their goalie. That’s fantastic.

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