Wednesday, January 11, 2012

To Grade or Not to Grade

Edmond de Goncourt is quoted as saying "A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world," however with the development of youth sports his quote is no longer accurate.  Now it could be worded to replace paintings with outstanding younger players within team sports.

He's not really mean, he just wants his hockey stick
This year I managed to cause a scandal all on my own when I took the advice of all of our hockey boys, two former professional players, several coaches, and our own back and forth conversations and choose to send Kaiden through the move up process.  Now if you are not familiar with our club the process is really pretty simple - you sign a form that says you are interested in moving up, your player must test on testing day, and in the process they must place in the top 35%.  So we went through the process and Kaiden managed to place well above the required percentage.
Now we were very excited about the opportunity for him to play up when we found out he had managed to pass all the areas he needed to(What parent wouldn't be) - and then the phone started ringing.  The rings where just not the ones we had hoped they would be(you know the kind that are of congratulations).  Instead I was cursed at, told I cheated, and even accused of a coverup.  I also had a hockey mom who happens to also be a board member drop the F* Bomb repeatedly on me at 8am because she felt it was dirty and low down, then the same woman called back and apologized only to turn around again and send my sons private information out to several people within the organization(YUP SUPER CLASSY to try and destroy a 6 year old that has great talent).  

We held our heads high and made sure we have supported Kaiden every day since the moment  he signed his form to apply for grade up.  Since that day Kaiden has scored several goals against much older goalies and players, become quite a stud at getting assists, and made a travel select team(WAY TO GO CAPTAIN!).  Looking back on it there have been a few moments that made me think if this worth it but it has been.  The love for hockey is there and he is growing under the direction of a wonderful house coach .  So will we move him up again when the time comes - oh I am sure we will, and my advice to everyone else out there jump on the opportunity just prepare yourself and your player that not everyone will be happy you have talent in your corner.

Congrats to the other Outlaws!  You are the elite!

- Thomas

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome Back to Hockey: A Family Affair is January and we are still writing about the beginning of hockey season.  So our resolution is to get this bad boy caught up and to keep everyone more up-to-date. 

Back to August for the time being!  This year our club hosted a huge Back to Hockey event so everyone could get enrolled, fitted for gear, and check on fundraiser information.  One of the last minute activities of the event caused our phone to buzz.  As it stands when the club's number comes up on the cell phone we sigh before we answer it.  The last minute activity was a drop-in hockey type tournament for all the kids that came out to register.  What it meant for us was having a little under  a week to try to get on-ice and off-ice volunteers.

Thomas and I split up the work and he did all the off-ice organizing and I did all the on.  As we roused up volunteers we were still short several on-ice helpers for the younger age groups.  So I shot a quick email to the boy's coach to see if I could get any helpers.

I was surprised as several of the boys turned out to help us out on the ice(our boys included of course).  So what we had was a number of AAA boys, several Omaha hockey coaches, and four hours of ice to control.

The most entertaining hour of the day should have been the first one.  This hour was all the younger skaters ranging in age anywhere from 4-8.  When it comes down to it though age is deceiving in the sport of hockey and a large number of these players had really just started skating.  Chris ended up coaching Kaiden's team which however it happened at check-in ended up with decently skilled skaters.  Poor Isaac though ended up with a lot of kids who had never even skated before, but handled it like a trooper.  It was fun to watch both boys trying to give the Captain various pointers.  However, the most entertaining thing came when one of the coaches told Kaiden he had scored enough goals and let someone else have a try.

The funniest part of the day came in the last hour.  First off the boys were only suppose to help with the first two hours, but they all stayed the whole time.  In the last hour we didn't have enough bantams come out to form two teams so we divided the AAA boys up and had them play as well.  We offered it to Cloudya, but she chose to run the time clock, so her and her buddy could goof around.  Kaiden however did not like the fact that he had to not only sit on the bench and watch his brothers play, but he also had to do it wearing a helmet.

Watching those poor tired boys play with a bunch of bantams was hilarious.  Kaiden from the bench is yelling all sorts of funny comments to each of the boys(when he wasn't asking if he could go out on the ice).  Isaac chooses to use his stick as a microphone after someone figured out how to turn the stereo on.  In the last couple minutes of the game they decided everyone should come out on the ice and see if they could help break the tied game.  When that happened Kaiden jumped out there with everyone(wearing shorts, skates, helmet and gloves only).  It didn't take long before he showed everyone that he loves to play with the older guys.  In the last couple seconds of the game a AAA player scored the winning goal.  However, he just happened to be one of our goalies.  His celey was the best!

The rest of the day my house was invaded by the AAA volunteers.  They were sprawled all over my tiny living room in blankets trying to get warm!  I don't blame them it was a long day on the ice and to top things all off they had to go to practice!

Regardless of how tired we were we all had a lot of fun and were able to make our little army a bit stronger!

- Veronica