Travel Hockey Tryouts

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My oldest son who is 9 has loved hockey since he was 5 years old and started doing the learn to skate lessons with his cousin. The learn to skate lessons led to learn to play hockey which led to the in-house hockey league and we are now going into his 2nd year of travel hockey. He just had 3 days of tryouts for the squirts team and we are waiting on the team list to come out which is exciting and nerve racking! Every so often he asks if I’ve checked the website! He loved tryouts and wanted them to last a few more days. Probably more for the fact that he made new friends and got to play with a lot of old friends.
We have had a lot of conversations with him about trying his best, listening to the instructors, and about how it will turn out the way it is suppose to. Once he is on the ice though it is all on him to decide how to present himself. He of course wants to make the Central States team but says he knows he won’t which breaks my heart. As much as it worries me if he did make that team I don’t ever want to see him heartbroken, disappointed, or to think of himself as not good enough. As a friend said recently “They wear their hearts on their sleeves out there. When they are upset or not feeling well it shows in everything they do.” Those words could not be more true and Ethan can be a pain in my neck but he is very intuitive and is affected when things are not right in his world.

Having a kid play a competitive sport has definitely been an eye opening experience for me. I never thought that I would be the crazy mom yelling and cheering my kid and his team on or the one yelling repeatedly “GET YOUR STICK ON THE ICE!!!” even though I know he can’t hear me. However, I am not a very good sports mom because I don’t care what team he is on or what sport he is playing. I go to every game and event full of team spirit but I feel like he is only going to be this age once so why put pressure on him to be something right now? I just want him to go out there and have fun but also be an asset to his team. With that being said, my expectations of how he conducts himself is very high and I don’t waiver on that. I expect him to be coachable, respectful and mindful of his words and actions.
Last year going into the 1st year of a travel team was scary, we had no idea what to expect or what was expected of us. As much as Mike and I went back and forth on whether this was a good idea for Ethan, I am glad we made the choice we did. He learned a lot from his amazing coach and we all came away with great memories and let some wonderful people into our lives. I look forward to this upcoming season of watching the kids develop more and all of the fun they are going to have.
I had some conversations over the weekend with friends that broke my heart about the kids making or not making teams and I wish I had the words to give them some peace of mind. They were really struggling with fear of them not making the team and what happens next because all of these kids really love this sport and you can just see them light up out there on the ice. Some of the kids were nervous I think which is to be expected when you know theres a group of people in the stands deciding whether you get to come back out here and keep doing this throughout the year.
Feeling like your kid did not preform to the best of their ability is hard but you know what? All of those kids out there today had excitement and hustle and maybe they were nervous taking a shot or going back and forth about if they stay in their position or not but the fact that you care and that they care is what’s important! You’ve instilled in them the importance of caring about their teams well being and given them the courage to try something that probably really scares them. Letting them do something that probably scares you is pretty awesome too!

There are worries when it comes to the cost of playing, all the gear they need, and fear that they might get hurt. I literally jumped every time I was the kids would collide because I was afraid they would get hurt. Luckily the people I was sitting with are used to my jumpiness from last year! These kids amaze me though they jump right backup and skate their little hearts out every time.
Every single one of those kids out there today has a place in this world and it may or not be on this years hockey team. All of those kids have something to add to the world and we are lucky enough to be there to help them find out what that is. So when you’re worried about the football, basketball, hockey, baseball, cheer, or tumbling tryouts just remember that they are so young right now and this one day is not going to be the one defining day for them. For all of us life goes on after the list goes up. I tell Ethan if he makes the team he will have a lot of fun, make new friends, and make some really cool memories but if something happens and his name is not on the list then that means something better is right around the corner. He’ll have the opportunity to try a new sport and maybe we will be able to take a mini vacation on a long holiday weekend since we won’t be gone to games every weekend for the next 6 months. We will still have a blast figuring out what to do next and cheering on his former teammates.
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