Thursday, June 14, 2018

Training for Hockey in the Off-Season

Last week, I shared about becoming a Hockey Mom. As parents we plan for the days our children might enter into a sport. From someone who was in every sport as a child, I figured my son would follow suit. Until of course Hockey became his whole world, he had never wanted to play a sport. Now he can't wait for the next time he is on the ice.
These sport related posts are in partnership with Hotels4Teams and I could not be more pleased with our collaboration. All opinions expressed are my own according to the FTC laws!  
Whether it is practice or just for fun, I joke he would live on the ice (probably not far from the truth). When it is time for him to get off the ice I often wonder if he will throw down an all out tantrum (luckily he is usually too exhausted). We are in the "off season" right now and with school ending soon I have a feeling I will soon live at the Ice Arena. In a few months though this will change and we will be juggling travel, games and practice. How do we plan for travel tournaments, hotel stays and taking Mac to and from practice, while remaining sane at the end of the day??? 
Well.... I will get back to you on how I am doing....with a busy schedule in a few months. BUT I do have a plan!! We watched a traveling hockey team back in the winter time. Perhaps you have heard of Team USA?? This got us thinking about what life would be like for us. You know carting our child around chasing his dreams of playing hockey while working and running a household at the same time. I asked a few Sport veterans how far they traveled for Hockey tournaments to get an idea of what our future would look like.....maybe I should have waited before asking.

Stacy from Maine said: her family has traveled up to 5 hours each way for games. The longest trip was 10 hours by car to Toronto!

Jennifer from Long Island, NY said: the furthest her family traveled was to Québec City about 9.5 hours driving. or 554 miles!

Sue says they travel 65 minutes each way for practice. 1-3 hours for games. 1-8 hours for tournaments (furthest Dayton, Ohio to Niagara, Canada). My son is on a Bantam travel team. We love hockey...worth every minute!!

Kim said her family has flown from NYC to Chicago, driven 12+ hours to Quebec and been everywhere in between - for the love of the game and the boy who plays it 💕

Kim about sums it up for all of us sports loving parents....We do it for the love of the game and players. I mentioned how expensive it was to start hockey in my last post. Saving money and planning ahead goes such a long way. Not only in Hockey but I can imagine in any sport!
Let's talk about my plan for the Off Season this year. I was reading an article on Hotels4Teams called: The Importance of the Off-Season which touched on so many great points for athletes. 


Could not agree more with this article!! Mac will be using this time to SUPER focus on the fundamentals of Hockey (like how to STOP). This should help him later on in the actual Season. Our local area also has several Summer Camps, Clinics and practices going on throughout Summer. 
 Another tip, is to enlist the advice/help of Sport Veterans! They have been through it before and know the ropes!! What to buy, what to bring, what to splurge your money on and where to save money!! I searched out other Hockey Moms to help us. We had no clue what we were getting into so this saved us so much time and money! I don't just mean in person but online too. I have read so many great articles that fuel my knowledge of the sport and what to expect in the coming months. I personally found the articles in the Practice & Performance section of Hotels4Teams website extremely enlightening!!
While we will be attending hockey related activities to help fuel his passion through the Summer time; I want to pass along some advice. It was given to me at the very beginning of our journey...

First rule of Hockey: Have Fun!

Seems silly but after doing drills on the ice for 2 hours, I can see where "fun" might be thrown out the window. While we do attend practices we also take him for public skate to just let loose on the ice. Yes, even I PUT my skates on and skate around with him!!
What are your off Season Tips?
Do you let your kids take a break from sports or let them practice year round??
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