Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hockey: Nashville Predator Hockey School

The Proud Mama (Me) and Her Little Hockey Player
I never dreamed my kitchen table would one day be covered in hockey equipment, that my hardwood floors would be scratched and scuffed from roller-blades, that my 1 yr old daughter would yell "you suck" at the opposing team's goalie, that certain numbers would imply certain hockey players, or that my son's eyes would light up when anyone mentioned the word hockey… but, I'm happy to be hockey mom. 

The Hockey Equipment

Gearing Him Up

In high school, we had a youth minister that moved from Minnesota to Tennessee and he had this crazy idea that he'd teach all of us southerners to play hockey.  I will admit that I never really "got it."  I just didn't understand the thrill of skating around with a stick after a puck.  I knew it meant something to some of the guys, but to me it was just another sport.  I liked to go and watch, but honestly, it was more for the company of certain friends than for the sport itself.  But now 8-10 years later, I think I'm just as excited about hockey as any one of those guys in high school.  In fact, I see that little sparkle in my son's eye when he sees a fresh rink of ice and I too can't help but smile.  So, it's taken me a while, but I think I'm starting to really love hockey.

Our Attempt to Win Playoff Tickets
L's passion for hockey started when he went to his first game, at 2.5 yrs old, and has only increased over time.  Knowing very little about actually playing the sport, we've tried to follow his lead.  He had a 3 year old hockey theme Birthday Party, he went to several hockey games, and we purchased him some little plastic hockey sticks and nets.  Earlier this year we enrolled him in the free G.O.A.L. program offered by the Nashville Predators, and after such a great experience, we decided to enroll him in the Nashville Predator Hockey School this summer.  It was a big deal because it required that we purchase all of his own gear, but after watching the smile on his face out on the ice at the G.O.A.L. program, I knew this was not "just a phase."  So $150 later, he's now the proud owner of all his own hockey equipment.

L at his first Nashville Predator Hockey Game: 2.5 Years Old

Ready for Some Real Ice Hockey: 4 Years Old

The first evening at hockey school I even teared up a few times just watching the joy on my son's face.  It's funny how on an ice rink full of about 60-70 other kids I can pick out my son in a matter of seconds.  I know he's the shortest one, with a with a huge smile plastered on his face.  He loves to skate, so when the other kids are in line he's usually skating around in circles practicing his stick handling, squatting, or sliding.

My Happy Little Hockey Player

Here are pictures from his time at Nashville Predator Hockey School.  I think I have over 100 pictures of him just from this week at camp, but I'll try to narrow them down a bit:

Gearing Up with Help from his Daddy

My Serious Hockey Player

Ready To Get Out On The Ice
Action Shot
Trying to get the attention of his biggest fan, his little sister

The Proud Little Sister and Her Bear

A Star in the Making?

Catching a Puck

Getting Some Instructions From One of His Coach

Finished Playing for the Day
After a great week at the Nashville Predator Hockey School, we have now enrolled him into a full season of the Termite League Ice Hockey here in town.  The season begins in October so I'm sure I'll have many more hockey experiences to come...  and I can't wait!

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