Once again, I have failed to put up a blog post in any timely manner. Oh well, that's the life of a hockey parent, as anyone who has been there can attest to, if there is anything planned between August and March, it has to be planned around the hockey schedule.
That being said, my son's hockey season ended yesterday. The season was definitely a learning and growing experience for him and for me. As a first time "travel" parent, you definitely learn along the way, and rely on the knowledge of others that have "been there" before.
As I reflect on the entire season, sure, there are things I would have liked to have seen play out differently. I would have liked to see all of the kids playing more of a "team" game and have less of the "bumblebee" mentality around the puck. I would have liked to see more "discipline" on the bench for not listening to the coaches. I also would have liked to have seen more team work and less individual play. However, I do have to step back and realize that I was not a coach, I am not a coach, and I have no desire to be a coach. So, whatever happened and however the kids played, I'm sure they were doing what the coaches told them to do, and as long as they listen, then it's all good.
Regarding some of the off-ice growth, I guess I would have liked to have seen more team activities planned away from the rink. Maybe another team dinner or two when we were out of town for a tournament, or an end of the season dinner or lunch this past weekend. I would have liked to have all the parents get along and not have a yelling and shoving match like we did this past weekend. Before you ask, I will not expand on this, it did not directly involve me, I was not near the incident, and I will not take sides. I will however state in my opinion that both parties involved were wrong, and quite honestly I feel having it get to that level is an embarrassment to them, to the team, and to the organization as a whole.
In the end, everyone needs to keep in mind that all roads lead to the adult league. If my son continues to enjoy playing this sport, and gets the physical activity involved in playing it, I'm happy. If by chance he continues to enjoy it and plays on a rec or club league while he's going to college, that's a bonus, and if he ends up playing on the A or B level league when he's an adult that's an even bigger bonus.
Taking this one year at a time though, a couple of things happened yesterday that made the entire season worth it. First, he didn't get a penalty in the game yesterday, or at least I don't think he did, if he did, then scratch the first thing. Second, when his team was down 3-0 in the third period, he was in the defensive zone around the left face-off circle. He deflected a pass off the boards and one of his teammates got the pass and made a shot. He didn't score, as the game ended in a 3-0 loss. However, just the fact that he saw what was going on and made that pass was incredible. Whether that is what he meant to do or not is debatable, but, it looked great at the time. Third, and most importantly, when we were leaving the rink yesterday, the first thing he asked me was "Daddy, can I be a Blackhawk again next year?" That right there puts everything into perspective and shows what it's all about. So, as long as he keeps enjoying it, and as long as the team will have him back, yes, he will be a Blackhawk again next year.