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Survival of the Fittest..Hockey Tryouts

Never has Charles Darwin’s theory applied more than to hockey tryouts. 60, 70 sometimes over 100 kids fighting for a spot on one or two teams. All on the ice at the same time, vying for just a handful of slots on a team. Stressful? Yeah.

And although our latest round for second year squirt has been stressful, nothing compares to the very first tryout. My goalie was working on getting a spot on a travel team, the big time. She was nervous but I was a complete wreck. What if she didn’t peform well? What if the other goalies' skills were FAR superior than hers? What if she didn’t get picked? What if I died of a heart attack before these 3 days were over?

The stress didn’t stop after the tryouts. There was the time commitment, 3 practices per week plus games. There was the money commitment going from a $500 a season house league to a $3500 travel league. $3500! That was a used Ford Escort!!

Sitting there in the frigid air, making idle chatter with the other parents I noticed that a lot of them appeared to be nervous too. While talking to them I noticed one eye was on me and one eye was on their kid on the ice. Stakes were apparently high in the 7-8 year old range (known as Mites)

Like a Jedi I willed her to do well sending messages of glove up, stick down, and track the puck. Save after save, goal after goal the days passed in a blur. The paper number on her back was getting as worn out as I was.
And when it felt like it would never end, it did. She ended up on the Mite Minor team for the season and as commitment letters exchanged hands, down payments were made (again reminding me I could have bought a Ford Escort) only then did it truly sink in that she was on her way.

For better or worse I became a travel hockey mom.

The Rejection Letter - Your Kid Didn't Make the Team