Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Hockey Life: Nice hat

I'm not a big fan of hockey parents rewarding their kids for every goal they score, shutout they earn or game they win. To me, it sends a mixed message. Yes, it's nice to celebrate their success, but it also can build expectations for rewards on each and every achievement.

In our case, we reward Colin for his academic achievements, knowing full well those will likely take him further in life than anything else. Making the principal's list earns him $50. The honor roll is worth $25. And that's on top of $5 for every A and $2 for every B, as long as he doesn't get a C or below in any other subject.

Having said that, though, I'm not above making exceptions to my no-hockey rewards rule in special circumstances. I told Colin recently, after he spied a certain hat -- a fedora -- during a trip to our local  Target, that if he scored a hat trick this season, no matter which team he was playing for, I'd buy him that hat. Well, earlier today, I had to take him back to our local Target store.

Playing for the Pinellas Sheriff's Police Athletic League Stars, the program where he started his hockey journey, Colin scored not just three goals for a hat trick yesterday, but added another pair during an 11-1 victory during the 2012 Turkey Shootout recreational hockey tournament.

Yes, five goals in one game, topping his previous best of four. No assists, though, meaning he played the role of a puck hog. Ah, just kidding, buddy. Here's a copy of the score sheet for his scrapbook.

In talking with him about the game, as I missed it because of work, he told me it was some of the most fun he has had in a while, just playing hockey and not having to deal with anything else. It's no secret that he enjoys a much greater comfort level playing for the Stars. He has been a part of the program for nearly four years now. And, really, we feel much more a part of the Stars family, if you will, than any other team we've been associated with.

His effort during the game only reinforces the point that a clear mind leads to a sharper focus on hockey. Rather than let the ongoing, unresolved and unnecessary nonsense that we're dealing with in his travel-team season weigh heavy on him, Colin simply went out and, literally, played the game of his life.

Amazing, isn't it?

There's a bit of irony in all of this, too. Colin's travel team, the Jr. Bulls, took part in a tournament in South Florida over the weekend. Though we paid the tournament fee, we stayed here in Hockey Bay and played much closer to home. Our decision, too, boiled down to finances, nothing else.

I couldn't justify spending another $700, between lodging, transportation (we would've had to rent a car, as ours have high mileage), food and gas. Simply put, our pockets aren't as deep as I'd like. All told, playing for the Stars this weekend cost us less than $50, between the fee, gas and food.

Oh, yeah, plus the $9.99, plus tax, for Colin's new fedora.


  1. Very sharp. Congrats on the game Colin.

  2. Thanks. He wore the hat on our walk today and received two compliments on it.