Almost a year ago to the day, I was moved to write a blog after my son Kenyan was surprisingly delegated to the house league after trying out for hockey 9A1 and 9A2 teams. I thought that he was better than what was meted out and admitted to a negative knee-jerk reaction. After I came to terms with the decision I was able to help him deal with his first hockey disappointment. I encouraged him to work hard to get the results he wanted and not to let this get him down. Instead use it as a motivator. I told him that for his next tryouts, he had to work his behind off and make the decision an easy one for the selectors. If you didn’t read the original post, go ahead and catch up by clicking here.
Sometimes, our disappointments end up being the best things to happen to us and in Kenyan’s case, this was very true. He couldn’t have asked for a better year! His 9A3 team was made of up a great group of kids who could also hold their own while having fun. While the A1 and A2 teams struggled to win games, the A3 went unbeaten, handily winning every game, many of them by blow outs! All this time, Kenyan kept working hard and morphing his game.
Then came tryouts for 2018/2019 season. This time there were no broken or borrowed skates. This time, the selectors were made of outside representatives. In the past, the coaches did the selection and it left room for bias. Another new touch was that instead of kids being cut along the way, they all skated through the 5 sessions then are notified via emails on which team they made. No more letters to open in the parking lot, plus who doesn’t want that extra skate?
Kenyan had a great tryout! Before and after each segment, I would tell him that he MUST leave it all on the ice. “This is for all the marbles son! You could rest after.” He listened. The emails were promised 24 to 48 hours after the final session. Ours came the next day. The kid made A1!! Was I surprised? Not really. Like I said, work hard son and you will get what’s yours.
In hockey, as you may know, it’s a dog eat dog world filled with competitive parents with dreams of NHL hockey drafts. Everyone feels that they kid is the next great one and deserve to play top level hockey. At the tryouts, I saw kids who I know have talent and could pretty much be on a higher level team than they ended up on in the selection but these kids go in with the mentality that it’s a given. Some of these kids were shadows of the kids the kid I watched lighting it up last season. They got lost among the 40 plus kids that were competing for the same spots. They simply did not work their butts off.
I am a proud dad. Not because I think my 9 year-old is going places. Heck no! I am proud that he now knows what hard work brings. He gets to experience it first hand. I couldn’t have scripted it any better.
Kudos son and all the best for a great year of A1 hockey! Let’s go Regents!