The Devil is back on the ice in earnest with a few practices and an exhibition game under her belt. The Boy is set to join her with Midget tryouts starting in a coupla days. And for the most part I will be assuming my spot standing just inside or even with the the home team’s blue line as my superstitious nature dictates. I am on the roster/staff of the Devil’s team, but primarily playing a backup role to one of the assistant coaches; a far cry from my head coaching duties last year. And, as I figured I would, I did miss not being on the bench during yesterday’s season opener. I missed the banter between the girls or the misplaced quips at the end of shifts. I also missed the opportunity to impart some small bit of hockey knowledge or motivation as situations required. Not to say I am some master tactician or grand motivator. As a coach, you (or at least I) derive some personal satisfaction from helping young, developing athletes. Yes, I’m sure I get as much out of the on and off-ice interactions as they do. As such, I’m sure I will enjoy the times I do get to be on the bench this year that much more.
But I am sure plenty of people will attest to the fact that I was doing my fair share of coaching from the stands. I’m sure some home and visiting parents’ eyeballs roll at my rink-bound exhortations, but I don’t really know any other way to experience the game. I’m fairly certain my suggestions are positive. I am pretty cognizant of not being “that hockey parent” who criticizes his or other kids; though I have been known to jokingly refer to either of my beloved progenies as “Dopey” or “Goofy” when opportunities present themselves in the form of turnovers or particularly bone-headed plays. Yes, my kids (all kids) make the occasional bone-headed play and they generally know it. The Boy and Devil would expect nothing less than a not-so-subtle jab from dear old Dad.
However, there were no such minor abuses uttered during yesterday’s 2-1 loss. The Devil and her new mates played a very respectable first game together, which hopefully bodes well for the season to come, though it’s far too early to be making any sorts of predictions. The next test will come on the weekend followed by a warm-up tournament in two week’s time, which should provide a good indication of what level they can be expected to compete at. Then it’s over to the Hockey Gods to determine their fateful path.
More on the Boy and his impending final minor hockey tryouts to come. And yes, I’ll be the one perched on the blue line for those as well, albeit keeping my exhortations and occasional chuckles to myself.