Thanksgiving is a tough time for hockey parents. Most of us are out of town at hockey tournaments, rushing from rink to rink for local tournaments, finding Black Friday deals on hockey gear and accessories, or trying to find some down time to get recharge for the next big push until Christmas.

Hopefully you can find a few moments and reflect on what you are Thankful for in your life. My wife often reminds me that hockey in itself is a game for those that “haves,” if you are unable to make the investment that this amazing game requires it is difficult to help your player develop and keep up with their peers. So as a Hockey Parent and Family it can be helpful to take a step back and make an inventory of things you are most thankful for, at a minimum to give your mind and body a rest, but also to keep you motivated and a positive force for your player.

Here are a few things I am thankful for in our Hockey Family:

  • Good Health: We have three health children that are growing and developing as they should, two of which are hockey players that continue to stay fit and active through this crazy pandemic. Our oldest player gets the occasional bumps and bruises but we have never been faced with any real injuries that impact their life or on ice performance.
  • Great Coaching: Coaches have a major impact on the experience your child has on the ice and we are fortunate to have amazing coaches for all of our daughters activities! Their coaches keep it fun, teach them lessons that apply on and off the ice, and push them to their full potential while holding them accountable. We see they often don’t want to let their teammates or coaches down and it is a major motivation for them. I know how hard it can be for a coach to show up every practice excited and full of energy to get your team focused and ready for practice, and we have some coaches that do this while staying organized and on top of the little things.
  • Hockey Opportunities: We live in an amazing hockey culture and community and as our oldest player is becoming more aware of things around her she is interested in watching more hockey. Luckily we are able to take her to games in person so she can feel the energy and buzz and continue to be part of the sport as she grows. In the next month we will have the opportunity to see the US Women’s Olympic team vs Canada, Minnesota Wild vs Florida Panthers, University of Minnesota vs Wisconsin (Women’s), and our local High School Girl’s team (last years state champs)vs our biggest rival. Most places in the US don’t offer such a wide variety of high quality hockey opportunities, especially for girls. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and Penguins games were your only real opportunity to see high-level hockey being play, and it was expensive! We were only able to make 2-3 games a year, but in our community in Minnesota the opportunities are unlimited!

Hope your family stays happy and healthy throughout this holiday season and that you get some down time between the crazy schedules we commit ourselves to.

My next blog will get back on track to discuss in-season dryland training.

-North Star Hockey Dad

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