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02-28-2008, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by javorka View Post
Don't hurry away your kid's childhood wanting them to be bigger, stronger, faster. There's no rush!
Great thread, just stumbled onto it.

It's a cliche, but javorka is right, enjoy every minute of it and every experience -- the good ones and the not so good ones -- because it flies by so fast it will make your head spin when you look back on it.

I know. I have two sons. I can't believe where the time has gone.

My 21-year-old is fortunate enough to be playing NCAA Division 1 ECAC hockey on a scholarship at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. He is just finishing up his sophomore season and it seems like yesterday that I had him out a pond learning how to skate and him complaining how cold his feet were and me saying, Just a little longer. LOL. He's overcome huge odds to get as far as he has and there are many who saw him play minor hockey and still now wonder how he's managed to continuing playing at such a high level. Having a passion for the game will do that. It's great for me too because the only way I was going to get to Harvard or Yale or Princeton or Cornell or Colgate was to go watch him play and it's quite an honor to do that every weekend now.

My 18-year-old son was unfortunate enough that at the age of 14 he had to stop playing contact sports like hockey and lacrosse because of medical complications as a result of concussions. Having the things he loved most -- hockey in the winter; lacrosse in the summer -- taken away from him was not easy for him to deal with. He did, however, return to playing the game last season in our local Midget-Juvenile House League, thanks to a decision to make all House League non-contact. He has been able to at least play on a team last season and this season, although it's not quite the same as he would like it be. This will be his last season of organized hockey as he's heading off to school in the fall.

Because of my experiences, good and bad, I can't tell you how important it is to cherish every moment, every practice, every game. It all ends too soon even for those who are able to play right through their entire minor hockey lives. But I can't tell you how many kids there are like my younger son who, for one reason or another, are forced to leave the game prematurely.

I can tell you my older boy, having seen what his brother has been through, understands it's a gift to still be playing. He has his younger brother's initials written on every one of his sticks.

So not to sound like too much of an old man, but take none of it for granted and enjoy it all. You never know when it's going to be over. Like many hockey dads, I had a tendency to get a little worked up when things didn't go so well from a performance point of view, and there are times when I still do, I guess. But there isn't a game or practice now with my sons where the first question I ask them afterwards is, You healthy? Everything is good? Because in the big picture, knowing they're well enough to go out to the next game and try again is the greatest gift of all.

BobMckenzie is offline   Reply With Quote