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Posted: 3/8/2006 5:14:46 PM EDT
Our little boy is four years old and has been through Tots and Pre-Alpha skating lessons (starting another pre-alpha class on Monday) and now, starting on Saturday he'll begin the Hockey Initiation program! I've played in the mens (read beer) league but never played youth hockey. What can I expect?

This program is 10 weeks. In the end they do evaluations and if the kids are good enough they get assigned to teams. I don't have any expectations for our little boy, if he doesn't make a team this time its no big deal. I just want to know what I should expect out of the coaches, program, skills, etc. Any heads up?

BTW, tomorrow after work we are going out to do stick & pucks. It will be the first time I'll be able to get on the ice (besides public skates) with my little guy. I've been waiting for this since before he was even born!
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 8:28:14 PM EDT
Im waiting for the same thing when I have a son someday..

Since you play, you already know the expense..

You can expect a hell of a lot of fun... Everyone I was ever around growing up in youth hockey were amazing.. The coaches are sometimes TOO competitive maybe.. but they really do want the best for your kid, and want them to have fun. Sticktime is a great way to get involved. If your boy makes a team after the eval's.. he will be close in skill level, so not too much to worry about there. If he likes it enough.. its travel team time!!! hehe... THATS where the fun is!
Link Posted: 3/14/2006 8:32:07 PM EDT
My son just turned one. I cant wait to see him play hockey. I wish I would could get out there and skate with him. I really dont care if he likes it or not I just want to see him involved in some sport whether its Lacrosse, Hockey, soccer swimming or track.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 3:22:09 AM EDT
Our first Sticks & Pucks was a blast! He did very well and I think he passed the puck around with everyone out there. In fact they all enjoyed seeing him out there and were patient and offered encouragement! A couple of the teenagers even played goalie for him so he could practice scoring.

Our first "hockey initiation" lesson was this past Saturday and he really enjoyed it. They broke the session up into two groups; little kids and big kids and the instructor with the little kids told me to bring my skates, gloves and stick next time so I'll be able to go out and help!

Total expenses to get him all the gear and signed up for Hockey Initation ran me about $300. $100 of that for the program about about $200 in gear. I bought his skates, elbow & shin pads, jersey, cup, helmet, stick and socks locally and his pants and shoulder pads off of ebay.

Seeing those little guys with all their gear on is the coolest thing on earth! Like you Sixgun357, we just want him involved in something and this is a sport that I can be involved with as well.
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 2:43:46 PM EDT
I am NOT going to be the voice of doom, but ... Promise yourself that, when it changes from those cutesy-wootsy little 4YOs... and it will ... that you won't turn into a f*#ing dick like some of the parents will. And that you'll just observe the wonderful variety of human nature, use the opportunities presented to talk with your son about the ethics of behavior and sportsmanship, and strongly resist the urge to kick the shit out of some asshole adult who is also "involved". At least until the last game of the season. OK ? In the meantime, I agree ... they really are a hoot to watch. FWIW... the other thing that was hard for me was NOT helping out. My kid went through many years of baseball and progressed to the point where he was involved at a league level that prohibited "amateur" coaching. That put me (from one year to the next) on the sideline. No big thing, except that the actual interaction with him and his team mates was cut drastically and I was reduced to spectator/busdriver. It was a BIG change. Years from now, if that choice comes up, think about it. Maybe it went hand in hand with sons becoming more independent from their fathers, but that part was no fun. Enjoy. They grow too fast, at least in some regards. Stay safe
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 4:08:19 AM EDT
No chance, I'm not a little league type of Dad. I'm not getting him into sports with the hopes that he turns pro. I just want his energy channeled into something constructive and something that we can do together.
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