Week 3 of dek hockey was yesterday. I simply cannot be more happy with the coaching staff. The other parents and I stood in “surface of the sun” conditions (phrase a friend used to describe yesterday morning’s weather) and watched these coaches and kids sweating it out with their equipment. It was in the 80s and humid. I swear there was a 10 degree difference between the sun and shade.
The coaches did something that I found almost unexpected but was so happy to see them do: they stopped about every 10 minutes and told the kids to take a water break. Hydration is so important and the weather yesterday was unbearable to stand in, let alone run around head to toe in equipment. The coaches didn’t stop any kids from leaving the dek at random seeking a drink of water or a towel to wipe the sweat from their heads. If they needed a break, they needed a break.
It is evident that the health and safety of the children is their first and foremost priority and this is something that some coaches simply neglect. They just don’t care. It is all about pushing- pushing your limits, pushing through injuries, pushing through illness. Not here.
This week, they cut back on skills. They did skills for a half hour and then scrimmaged for a half hour. It was hilarious watching the kids all running for the ball, abandoning their positions and their teammates. The coaches kept telling the kids, “Remember your teammates!” I think next week they may want to consider getting some practice jerseys or flags or something so that the kids can tell who is on their own team.
Jordan was put on defense. I was laughing and had to keep telling him which goal to defend and which to score on. It was a great atmosphere. Parents were cheering but all commentary to their kids directly was constructive- like just telling them which way to go! It was relaxed and most parents were just laughing and enjoying the chaos. I didn’t see any overbearing parents and many parents reminded their children not to ball hogs and to make sure they were passing to their teammates.
That may have been the most refreshing thing of all. It was not cutthroat parents. They wanted to make sure all the kids were having fun. Jordan does need to work on paying attention though. He ends up in la-la land sometimes and just looks like he forgets where he is!
One of the other mothers and I were talking about how difficult it is to pick out your child when they are out there all in white shirts and equipment with no names or numbers on their backs. After the first week, I began allowing Jordan to wear whatever hockey shirt he wished. This helps me keep an eye on him not just so that I can pick him out easily to watch him practice and play, but so that if he falls or gets hurt, I know immediately that it is him.
The other mom liked the idea and it addressed her concern as well. Even with the height variances in the children, sometimes you can’t even tell based on shoes. All of the kids are wearing black or white shoes! I think next week, we may see a few more kids wearing Pens gear. This week, Jordan rocked his Logan Couture shersey though.
We also have a few shirts now from the dek hockey rink. The owner was nice enough to even put numbers on Jordan’s new shirts.
If you have a kid or are an adult who plays dek hockey, PLEASE look into the leagues at South Hills Dek Hockey. You will not find a greater staff that cares about the players and kids and will take care of you! As it turns out, the owner is a personal friend of my parents. They grew up together and are still friends. Also, we found out that the coaches have a connection to us as well. I posted some photos on Facebook, and my mom’s sister responded to them that the coaches were her brother-in-law, niece, nephew, and friends.