They also feed into the parental neurosis and fear that their kids are not going to keep up unless they do these skills camps, which is ridiculous, though for the record, N benefited greatly from them before starting his first season. His situation was unusual, however, because he had never played hockey before. Finally, they are expensive, again taking advantage of the parental neurosis about their kids chances at competing. The final straw was that N just didn’t want to do them, and said he’d rather just do the open sticks. The last thing we want to do is push him and then have him burn out.
With this in mind, we are just doing open sticks, which are a load of fun because when a critical mass of kids show up, we can organize a game, and it’s a blast. It makes me think of pond hockey, where casual pick up games are the norm. In a way, it’s like having the pond hockey experience without the pond, which is more about just having fun. I think it’s good for N, he enjoys it, and it helps to build his confidence. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that last year was his first, so it’s really about ice time and getting more and more comfortable with his game. Plus, there will hopefully be some organized stuff in the fall. I’m all for casual pick up stuff, it’s just more enjoyable.
So we’re kind of having a pond hockey summer. We get to have some ice time, but also focus on summer stuff like swimming, tennis, riding our bikes, and just being carefree. That’s what being a kid’s all about, right?