Ahhh, my Max ❤ It would be unfair for me only to share the emails I get from his teacher and my concerns about his focus (or lack thereof). I am absolutely bursting with pride over the email I just got from his hockey coach! If Max were here with me right now I’d squeeze him and kiss him to pieces!
He begged for YEARS to play hockey. At the age of 3, I signed him up for figure skating (largely out of exhaustion from chasing him around the rink while Abbey attended her practices). Every year he asked, “Mommy, if I skate good enough, can I get a hockey stick?” Every year, as a family, we discussed expenses, travel, and scheduling and every year we decided NO. Every year the coach(es) tried to persuade us to let him play, we said no. We said no until we could say no no longer.
During Open House at his school, I was dragged (literally – I had my heels dug in and he nearly pulled my fingers out of their sockets) to the table Mr. Fredette had set up for kids to do hockey sign ups. He begged, he pleaded, he made a scene (or maybe that was me). I grabbed a few signup sheets and promised to think about it. Every day he asked if I’d sent in his papers. Overridden with guilt, I signed what I THOUGHT was a form for him to do a hockey CLINIC. A clinic would have been Saturdays only, no games, just scrimmages – very light. Unbeknownst to me (or did Mr. Fredette pull a fast one?), I’d signed him up for a full season.
Alas, Fall of 2014 marked the start of his hockey career. I thought he’d bounce right out of the atmosphere with excitement. I think I speak for all of us when I say we were secretly hoping he would hate it and only play one year 🙂 However, after seeing his enthusiasm on the ice during his first practice, we all fell in love.
I loved watching hockey, but knew very little about it. I had next to no money and worried about equipment (which his Dad & Jamie stepped in and took care of), gas for the old mini-van to get him to and from games, snacks and meals while we were out. We pinched pennies, we dug change out from under the Loser Cruiser’s seats, and doggone it, we made it through that first season! I was even inspired to trade the Loser Cruiser for a more fuel efficient, super tiny car, with a hatch back just big enough to fit a hockey bag.
The way he focuses when he never before seemed able, the way he drives me crazy practicing his shots IN THE HOUSE, the suffering of all things breakable, the smile on his face no matter how the game is going, his positive attitude and absolute passion for the sport…tell me again why we were resisting?
The following is an excerpt from the email I received from his hockey coaches today highlighting the skills and assets of each player individually – an email that made me cry – tears of happiness, tears of pride. Congratulations, my persistent little man! Never stop being that squeaky wheel – it’s important in life ❤
Excellent season, Cougars! Incredible coaching, Coaches Matt, Norm, Erik, Larry, & Roch. Our kids are so fortunate to have you as the foundation from which they’ll grow as sportsmen.
Max – Word used to describe Max – ENERGETIC.
Areas Max improved on this season:
- forward/backward skating
- wrist shot/backhander
- one on one battles.
Max is a spark plug on the team. What the coaches like about Max is that he dives head-first into things and is not afraid to try new things or go out of his comfort zone. The coaches talk a lot about how you can never truly get better unless you work on your weak areas. To do that, sometimes you will fall and mess up, but it’s the only way to learn. Max, in just a short time playing hockey, has accelerated his growth in the game because he is not worried about trying out a new skill and working on it until he gets really good at it. An example and also a highlight of this would be Max’s wrist shot and backhand shot. At the beginning of the year, the coaches felt every player on the team (including Max) needed time to work on and improve their shooting. We watched videos on proper shooting technique, the coaches modeled the right way to shoot, and the coaches gave the players time just about every practice to hone their shot. Max took a lot of shots in practice and always looked so focused when he was taking part in shooting practice. Max also starting shooting a ton at home. This is the key…not only did Max work hard at our practices, but while he was at home, too. The payoff? Max not only scored one top shelf backhand goal this year, but added a second against PYH in our last game. Scoring on a backhander is kind of rare, so to get two in a season is a nice accomplishment. Why is scoring on a backhander rare? Well, because not many players are dedicated enough to practice their backhander. Max’s highlight backhand goals were earned because he decided to put the extra time in…team, remember that…put some extra work in and it will pay off.
Also, we have to add one of the best things we saw all year had to do with Max. After a strange tipped in goal, Pete was down and Max skated on over to tell Pete, “No worries, we’ll get it back.” What Max decided to do there was amazing; the coaches couldn’t have been any prouder of his choice in that situation.
Nor could his Mama ❤