I have a son who play's Travel Hockey and this message was sent and shared to the Club where he belongs to. I wanted to share this, to remind some on why we play this great game...........:
A Squirt Tryout-
To whom it may concern:
1st Note to self: When trying out for the travel team and kids are coming from miles around to make the A team, rental skates for your son is a bad idea. Especially when you are the smallest and least talented kid on the ice - by FAR. My question was why I only saw him every half hour when the shifts were changing every two minutes? Answer, he was getting the freeze out on the bench and the bigger kids simply cut in front of him.
2nd note to self. Deciding to run out the next day and finally buy new skates and have the idiots at Sports Authority sharpen them is almost as bad as rental skates. Second day of travel tryouts went better considering he had brand new skates. He was all happy that he touched the puck! "Dad, did you see me??? I got my stick on it!" Of course after the tryouts we had the skates tested and the guy at the arena just laughed and said they were sharpened with a stone. I told him to stand his ground and hold his position in line on the bench in between shifts. From my position in the stands, watching him get pushed around in order to hold that position was the hardest of all. Late that night, he comes into our room with a nightmare, which is something he never does. Reason? He said that hockey players had pushed him through a hole in the ice and he was underwater. What have I done?????? Thursday brought an extra day of tryouts. I had to go out of town but left a note telling him his best was all he needed and to remain confident. I got a phone call minutes after the tryouts ended. "Hey dad, I got to play center dad. AND I GOT A SHOT ON GOAL!!!!" A simple shot on goal. Everyone else probably had 5 or 6 a night. He got one in 3 nights. He didn't know what the center was on Monday.
I did everything wrong. Travel tryouts for the FIRST experience to be on a team. Rental skates the first night and thus painting A HUGE target on his head. Targets are fine if your play can back it up. Given his experience, probably not a good idea. New skates during the whole mess and dull ones at that - please. Forcing him to stand his ground and take the bench abuse? Ask any guy and they will remember that feeling. It stays with you for awhile. I am a bad father. He never complained once, never told me about the problems on the bench until I really pushed him. Last night, after it was all over, he told me how scared he was that first night, how scared he was to fight back on the bench the second night but how it was worth it all to take one simple shot on goal on the third night. That may have been the most important shot taken in three days. There is much work to be done and he has a huge learning curve to overcome but somehow I feel that this week was a life altering experience. Hockey tryouts turned into life tryouts and how you have overcome. Run away from your fears and antagonists now and you might spend the next ten years of school running away. You may never stop running.
But he didn't run.
He played hockey.
He is my new hero and I wanted you to know.
My sincerest thanks for the lessons your organization taught us.