My kids are going to hockey camp this week. I had no idea that their coach was a former NHL player. I'm not sure how I missed that. But he is the type of gung ho, tough-but-fair coach I remember so fondly from my own sports camp days.
My son, poor guy, is as usual the worst one on the ice. I keep trying to remind him that he has come so very far and improves every single time he gets on the ice. He has a great attitude, but he just doesn't the have the natural talent of most of these kids.
But as his coach told him yesterday, "Hey, you could be at home playing video games. But you're here working hard and that makes you a winner in my book."
Today he was doing a drill where he was supposed to jump over his stick with his feet together. Um, it didn't go so well. You might be able to slide a piece of paper between his skate blades and the ice, but not a hockey stick.
So the coach was standing in front of him and trying to talk him through it. And he just kept jumping up an inch off the ice and straight back down. And finally the coach just had to laugh. It was quite funny to watch. My kid is all effort from the top of his head to the toes of his skates. But he looked like he was on a pogo stick that had lost its spring.
The girl, on the other hand, is one of the best out there. She's so funny. That child doesn't have a graceful bone on her body, but she does well in sports just by sheer desperation of will. Now that she's switched from soccer, where she was nowhere near fast enough to keep up, to hockey, where proper skating technique will take her far, she's building huge amounts of confidence.
Today at the end of practice they played a game where they tried to hip check each other out of the circle or onto the ice. My daughter won three out of four rounds. Much to the chagrin of a dozen boys.
What can I say? Her hips are bigger.