It was a very familiar sight to someone who’s played sports her whole life – a group of kids gathered at the center of the rink, flanked by coaches, hands in the middle. “Who are we?” prompted the coach; “Capital City Crew!” yelled the kids.
We worked pretty hard during the day to organize all the kids’ equipment (which is all nicer than anything I’ve ever worn) during the day, but it was incredibly gratifying to see their enthusiasm throughout their time at the RecZone, even right at the end of a tough practice. They actually all got into full equipment for the first time – last week was the first time on skates for some of the kids, but yesterday was a first for everyone. If you’ve ever donned hockey equipment, you know that the weight of it all can take a little getting used to. I think they figured out the upside of the pants, shin pads, elbow pads, etc., though: it doesn’t hurt when you fall.
This week was another session focused mostly on skating, but they were working on some pretty tough stuff – hockey stops, backwards skating, even transitions. It was amazing to me to see the improvement, even during the course of the hour.
I think the combination of the coaches’ ambition and the kids’ fearlessness really propelled them forward. Their confidence seemed to grow as practice went on, and they really loved the last drill, where they had to skate down the middle of the ice, trying to avoid being hit by tennis balls that the coaches were shooting at them. By the end of the on-ice sessions, I’m sure they’ll be skating like pros.
As I was helping some of the girls loosen their skates (something else that takes some getting used to) after they got off the ice, they were saying how surprised they were at how much they’d been sweating out there. That’s hockey – you’re working so hard, concentrating so much, having so much fun, that you don’t even know how hard you’re working. It’s really great to give these kids the chance to experience that.
And don’t forget...
There’s still time to register for our 12th Annual Kids ‘N Community Foundation Golf Tournament! It’s happening in less than three weeks, though, so hurry to get your spot. Registration information is available on our website.