Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Inner Circle

I’m sort of being allowed into the “inner circle” of dad’s hockey, and I’m not sure what to make of it. I will always feel like an outsider when it comes to the game because I’m such a newcomer, and most of the other dads have played some form or another in their youth as well as their adult incarnations. Being the new guy and all, I don’t feel like I’ll ever really qualify, but it’s one of those things that I shouldn’t over think, but I’ll lose my mind while confirming to everyone who knows me that I’m a neurotic mess. Then again, maybe it’s too late for that.

Either way, during N’s last game, DF said I could come to help on the bench during the game. This is completely my interpretation, but I think it was presented as a sign of respect. DF is a pretty straightforward guy, he doesn’t sugar coat things and will do only what’s best for the team, so he’s not doing me any favors because he feels sorry for me, regardless of how much I want him to feel sorry for me. He left it up to me, and of course I accepted, even though, as usual, I don’t really know what I’m doing.

I’m always happy to help, however, so I joined the big boys in running the team. My job was expendable, if not a little stressful because I didn’t want to screw anything up, which I did on occasion, anyway, but what else is new? I still don’t see myself as a coach, but more of a helper. The coaches are the real deal guys who know hockey, so I’ll leave it up to them, I’ll just stand on the sidelines and fill water bottles and open doors for the players. That’s more my speed.

Another area where I seemed to have  gained carte blanche is during practice, where I’ve always been ready, willing and less than able to help out. I usually bring my skates and change on the benches by the ice, but the other day DF invited me to change in the coaches locker room. He even said I could keep my stuff in there. How’s that for being accepted into the club? Again, I was flattered, but still feel I’m not up to speed with these guys. They’re practically pros, after all, and I’m the junior novice, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about hockey, it’s that hard work and the willingness to work hard are appreciated. I’m not a hockey player (I just play one on TV), but I can go out there and try my best, and that’s enough to gain some street credibility among the elite.

I’m still not a coach, I’m just the novice helper, and my goal is not to gain entrance into the club of elites, but as long as I can be useful to the overall cause of helping the kids, I’m all for it. It’s even better if I don’t make a fool out of myself out there, but that could be asking too much.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Andrew Wragg for the pic.

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