Hockey tryouts for the 2011 / 2012 season begin today…..and Erika is not trying out.
I have been a hockey mom since Ryan started playing when he was little, first in Cambridge (outdoors), then in Hampton and finally Guelph. Nick played as well and then Erika started playing.
When Erika was little and the kids would play hockey in our basement she just wanted to be the Zamboni (not the driver the actual Zamboni) and run around cleaning the ice while they took a break, but she gave up that dream to become a player once she started school.
Erika’s first year of House League hockey was somewhat sad to watch, she didn’t know how to skate. She would run on her skates from one end of the rink to the other just trying to keep up with the play, I’m not sure she ever touched the puck that first year. Her coach, Franco worked very hard that year to teach her to skate and I would have to say between him working with her at practices and Chris taking her public skating, she actually learned to skate pretty well.
Erika’s first year of Rep was with the Atom Select team and she has been playing various levels of Rep ever since. Her most successful year was with the Bantam BB team. They won Provincial Gold after finishing first in their league and taking Silver in league playoffs. It was a great season!!
This past season was not nearly as successful, not just from a winning perspective but also from an attitude and coaching perspective. It seemed the goal of this team was just to make sure they made it to San Jose for a tournament. The trip was all well and good and I know Erika had a great time there but I think the goal should have been to finish first in their league and at least make it to Provincials. This may not have been the outcome but they still should have strived for it. It was a team of skilled players but they didn’t work as a team most of the time, and it showed in the results.
At the end of the season Erika had enough, she told us she did not want to play hockey any more….she wants to devote her time to her other sports love….soccer. At this point in her life she really did have to let something go and I think how she felt about the level of play on her hockey team this past season certainly made it easier for her to make that decision.
Mixed emotions….for me, not for Erika, she made her decision and feels good about it, and it was always her decision to make.
What I will miss….watching Erika play, cheering when she scores, team parties, socializing with other hockey parents.
What I won’t miss……the expense, the time spent in cold arenas, the nasty smell of hockey gear strung out to dry, 6am practices, the constant skate sharpening, the travelling in nasty weather, the stress at tryouts (hers not mine).
So here we are….tryouts are here and we are sitting home relaxing while Erika is spending time with friends who are not hockey players. I think I can get used to it. 🙂