Summer’s Been Nice, but Startin to Get The Itch

Sometimes at night I can hear the ice crack
It sounds like thunder and it rips through my back
Sometimes in the morning I still hear the sound
Ice meets metal…
Can’t you drive me down to the Big League? 

Tom Cochrane

Midway through Summer and basking in a heat wave; a far cry from an icy cold rink in February.  It’s been a while since there’s been any real hockey talk, but it’s never too far from our minds.  Some kids continue with 3-on-3 leagues, Summer hockey camps or hockey-specific conditioning as the Boy and Devil have both done in the past.  I personally feel it’s important to get away from it for a couple of months and to develop rounded athletes in multiple sports.

We’ve been offering optional dryland training once a week for the girls on my team this upcoming season. Our trainer has done a great job of mixing team building in with the exercise. Attendance has been pretty good from week to week with only a few who haven’t been able to get out because of commitments they have in other sports from baseball to soccer to ball hockey.  And that’s just fine by me.  There’ll be plenty of on and off-ice conditioning once this team is fully assembled.

While there have been no hockey practices or games played, there has been plenty of admin in anticipation of the season ahead.  A bank account has been opened, rosters have been created, on-ice plans have been drafted.  The other night, hockey mom and I got together with a group of parents to discuss fundraising to offset some of our costs next year.  One tournament has already been booked for September, another is earmarked for November.  We have our eyes pealed for a few more to round out the schedule around practices, league games and playoffs.  Next week I’ll sit down with my coaching staff to get their input on how we, as a group of four 40+ men, will work together to develop the individual and team skills of a bunch of undoubtedly temperamental 13 and 14 year old girls.  Say a small prayer to the hockey gods on that front for us.

The practices and games will be upon us before we know it.  It’s likely no surprise that I’m itching to get going. Though they’re older, with other interests and priorities, I’m pretty sure the Boy and the Devil could use a wee scratch too.  Keeping us all away from a rink for a couple months serves to stoke the flames of competition; it’s good to miss the game; to want to get back to it again.  A new season will bring new challenges, new teammates, new friendships along with some victories and hopefully fewer defeats. Regardless, it’s all good when the Zamboni door closes after its final round inviting the quick clamour of skates, sticks and pucks just ahead of whistles and cheers.  I don’t have to be there to see,  hear or feel it in my mind’s eye, but there’s nothing quite like the real thing.