Yesterday I got the email for the IP hockey program information night. Given that this is our third consecutive year with IP hockey, I am pretty sure I can skip it.
That said, there are some things that the hockey information night doesn’t tell you that I feel are just as important.
1- The hockey gear comes in a boxed set. It covers just about everything you need and its fairly idiot proof to put on.
2- They don’t play games for the 4-6 age group. Only in ‘fun days’. Frankly, those aren’t really even games because half the kids don’t understand what hockey really is. So you spend a lot of time watching them skate in circles as the puck drifts past them.
3- Get the jock that has the shorts. The shorts have Velcro on the sides and will hold up the hockey socks without having to use hockey tape. Much easier
4- If you think, for a second, that you might be doing this for several years, invest in a hockey bag with wheels. There are often second hand ones being sold for a reasonable price. It’s either that or be prepared to carry the hockey bag all.the.time.
5- Always bring your hot beverage of choice. Arenas require caffeine and warmth
6- Wear layers. You sweat like crazy getting the kid into their gear and then freeze your butt off in the stands watching them. Layers. And bring a blanket. The stands are cold.
7-Beware of the goalie. Early on, they don’t have goalies, but kids can try it out and see if they like it. The day they are scheduled to play goalie will be the day that you are running late. And even after three years, I have no idea how to put on goalie gear. I rely on the kindness of other parents.
8- Find the funny. You have days where they get off the ice to pee three times (they will likely be in the goalie gear that day)and there are days where you spend their entire ice time watching them make snow angels on the rink. Bring your sense of humor. It will help.
9- You can ask the rink attendants to turn on the heaters in the bleachers. They may or may not be able to do so. Just know that any heater space will become crowded with other frozen parents so if you aren’t feeling chatty, you may want to figure out another way to keep warm.
10- There will be a day where you show up to the wrong arena, or at the wrong time, or with the wrong kid (if you have more than one in hockey), or possibly all three. I refer you to item #8 again. Nothing you can do about it. The silver lining is that you now have time to go and grab a second coffee.