Wrapping Up a MITE-y Year

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

These photos have been sitting in my drafts for months, literally (well, two of them at least...) waiting for my attention.  By now, we should be long past hockey, and moving on to baseball.

Turns out - Mother Nature isn't ready - as we've got another 3-6 inches of snow in store for us today, May 1st! While we should be thinking spring, or summer even!! we are stuck with the cold and the ice and the snow. Winter, if you will. In May!

No matter.
The pictures aren't going anywhere - and I'm not blog booking this for quite some time yet...

Anyhoo -  

This was our first year in an 'official' hockey program.
We've skated before, and even taken skating lessons before ~ but this was the big year.

The big year when we would start the real deal.

Can't have a potential NHL'er on our hands without going through the program can we?

If it's possible to be underwhelmed, and overwhelmed, at the exact same time ~
Then I can say with confidence that is how I viewed this season.

This guy - the guy it matters for?
I think he feels the same way.

           He learned a lot. His skating, from day 1, to the end of the season, 6 months later - incredible.
                                                                He made great strides.

                                                 Mostly, he had fun with his buddies. 

But you see, here's the thing. These kids? They really aren't buddies. We live in a large metro area. The city hockey program, is comprised of, well, all the kids in the city. That means that the kids who are joining this program can come from any number of over a dozen elementary schools. Add in any sort of *waiver in*, and there's even more added to the pot.

What's the problem with this you wonder?  Well, these kids aren't buddies, as most of them are meeting for the first time. Sure, some of them might go to school together, but not very many.  I can't think of a single kid in our Mites 1 program that goes to school with our boy.

Then, the 'Mites 1' group is divided into teams: gold, black and white. 

                                                                That's a lot of kids!

It's hard to get to know each other, when you are dressed in full gear...from head to toe - including a mouth guard - every time you see each other (every Saturday & Sunday from October - March)
Practices vary in starting time, the earliest we had was 7:30am - up to about the lunch hour, and were one hour long. Mostly we'd get to the arena dressed and ready to go, or with just enough time to spare to get dressed and hit the ice.

After practice - everyone bolts.

We all have things to do, we want to salvage our precious weekend days.

But for a little boy, looking for a 'team' - looking for 'teammates' ~
It's not conducive to making friends, making buddies.

Now, there WERE opportunities to participate in dry land practice a couple/few times a week.
Helmets are required, but not the other full gear...it's an hour long - a great work out.
It's not, however, a chance to get to know anyone.
The kids are running, doing drills, shooting the puck.
Having fun!
But they aren't interacting other than for hockey skills.
AND, for our first year Mite - being lumped together with kids that have been in the mite program for years was overwhelming.
Training center times offer a 'Mites' dry land training time ~
putting our little rookie in with kids that know what they are doing?
Yeah. No.
He wasn't a fan.
Isn't everything more fun with a friend?

Sometimes, after 30 minutes or so of drills, the kids would get to scrimmage against each other.

A real 'game!' - now that is fun!

And at the end of the year, they even got to use the box for their final scrimmage!
They looked, and felt, like the big time!

That same day, he even had 'fans' ~ other than his Mom & Dad, and biggest fan and big sister Hailey.
What fun is playing if no one ever comes to watch, right?

After the last practice - we all chipped in for a pot luck of sorts - donuts, granola bars, yogurt, fruit, juice, 
& had a little breakfast of champions.

The kids loved it.

I only wished we had done more of that during the season.

Even once a month - 
a chance for the kids to chat off the ice - see who is hiding under those helmets and mouth gaurds.

It was so fun to see them interacting on this one day.
Am I looking for something that just isn't there?

                                             (The small town in me hates this. HATES this.)

Of course I know if you stick with the program,
eventually, you'll get to know the team, the players, the parents.

                                    I don't know what will be in store for his hockey future.
He says he'd like to play next year ~ but we'll see when the time comes.

We most likely aren't raising the next big NHL star, and that is just fine.
But it's got to be fun. If it's not fun, then why are we doing it?


Anonymous said...

Games are not be boring. Games are to be take happiest of our body.I am sure others do as well. Keep up the good work! Emaar MGF Marbella

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