We’ve got two ice hockey games this weekend, the second of which, sets the stage for some major district playoff implications. Van Jr. had a great week of practices, he watched lots of hockey, did plenty of shooting and stickhandling drills. He understands that it’s up to him to earn that ice time. I was talking to a fellow hockey parent and good friend this past week and she had some great advice for me to impart on my son prior to game time to loosen his nerves and get him playing the way he truly can… tell him to just go nuts. He knows what he’s supposed to do, it’s time to just let his emotions out and be an animal out there. During his practice on Thursday night, he was on a line doing drills with two good skaters that play the game aggressively, and he looked fantastic.
Viv got some very disappointing news last night when roles for the upcoming Medford Lakes play were posted. She badly wanted a part, and although not getting that role stung, what really got her was that she didn’t get any of her choices, and is now lumped into a big group role again. I’m doing my best to keep her positive, get inside what’s limiting the roles offered to her, and talk to her about not quitting an activity that has brought her a lot of happiness in past years. She’s frustrated in a similar way that her brother is with his ice time.
Ice hockey and play productions are intimidating to parents without firsthand experience. Honestly, being in an ice hockey rink or doing play tryouts feels like you are an alien intruding on some sort of elitist planet at times. I have tried to ask the dumb questions so that my kids do not, but that can paint yourself as the problem parent, which hurts your kids’ chances of a better part, better chunk of ice time. I do my best to get myself as informed as possible without interfering with their coaches and directors. What I have grown to learn is to teach your kid to fend for themselves as much as possible. Teach them to raise hands and ask questions whenever something isn’t clear.
My son certainly has responded to me giving him some suggestions (which normally come from his coach), but backing off and allowing him to just have fun. This season for my son has been a huge improvement over last, his coach is present, and has had no problem with speaking with me. He also does a great job of teaching the game and sensing when things aren’t quite right with a player.
The play situation… I need to learn more about how things work. The play world is completely foreign to me, and most times I’ve asked questions, I get this odd response from friends of directors defending them that they don’t have time to answer stuff, when all I’m doing is looking for information. It could be that I’m male, and the vast majority of the folks working on the play are not (i.e. I’m even more of an alien). Again, I think the solution is getting Viv to feel empowered to ask questions herself, and to do her best to remain a coachable kid that listens.
And the truth is, these “setbacks” for my kids are valuable life lessons. Life will
not always never behave for you, even times when you do everything you can to prepare yourself for success. Dusting yourself off after an ass-kicking, getting back in the ring is what success is all about.
So kids, get ready, because we are going to mess these challenges up. We can. We will.
I started the Gorilla Workout again, this time I’m going for Level 4 (the hardest one). The workouts have been brutally great. One of the best and more frequent exercises are pull ups. These always concern me because of my shoulder separation from a long time ago. And then the next workout came up…
Oh. Shit. That’s 100 pull ups. 100. Yesterday, during my lunch break, I did it. And yes, all 100 of them. It wasn’t pretty, but I made it.
And honestly, I don’t feel too bad today.