We had the most lovely late summer weekend last week. Warm and sunny days without a cloud in the sky. The perfect time for hockey to begin! Sam had his first three practices Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Nothing like starting off with a bang. And I had my first three practices as an assistant coach.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
I cannot tell a lie. I was so nervous I almost peed my pants. When I was an assistant coach back in WV, I was working with 4 and 5 year old kids who were mostly just starting out. And the organization was very relaxed. Basically, anyone with skates and a helmet could come out and be an
on ice babysitter assistant coach.
Up here in Pee-Ay things are a little more intense. There are teams all over the place, with each organization having at least one elite team that usually contains the son or daughter of a famous local hockey player. You have to try out to make even the lowest level team. And many of the coaches played hockey in college and some still play in adult leagues. And then there's me. Former figure skater, hockey fan and mother. I have skates, a pink helmet, and a pair of gloves only because of the big bag of gear our nephew donated to Sammy. He's 10, and his hands are as big as mine. Thanks Jack!
I actually know how to skate pretty well, and know a thing or two about the game of hockey, but damn if I wasn't shaking like a leaf. Lukcily we got there a little early on the first day and I got to go out and skate a few laps at the tail end of the public session before the practice began. Good thing, too, because my right leg was litterally trembling. The pre-practice coaches meeting had been cancelled, so I hadn't really met anyone. And the one guy I did know didn't remember/recognize me with my helmet on, so I had to do that awkward thing where I reminded him who I was and of the (several) times he's come to our house so his kid could play with my kid. Good times. For some reason I wasn't yet on the coaches email distribution list, so I didn't have the practice plans and I was just sort of floundering, surrounded by about 60 little boys and a few girls hell bent on running me over.
I almost quit then and there.
When I got home I wanted to cry, I was so disappointed in myself. Luckily, I have an awesome husband who came to watch us, and he reassured me that I looked just as qualified to be out there as almost everyone else. (There was at least one guy a little more qualified than me.)
I went back the next day things were a little easier since it was only 25 kids instead of 60, and I got to know the other coaches on our team better. Finally, last night was another big group pratice and I really felt good about it. I had fun, Sam is having fun with me being his coach, and he seems to be listening and doing well. I think the other guys realize that I'm serious about being there and not just some clingy mommy who wants to be with her baby all the time.
Well, I do want to spend time with my boy, but if we can spend time together playing hockey, well, that's even better, right? It sure beats sitting in the stands with my toes freezing off!