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Saturday, November 21, 2015

How I Became a Hockey Mom-Part 2

Hockey Moms are not BORN they are MADE

I could be here all day writing about what makes a hockey mom who she is but I will save that for another post.  As a newbie, I thought by just signing up and bringing the kids to the rink qualified me as a hockey mom.  Technically I was a hockey mom but I learned very quickly that it is more than just a title.  Hockey moms are extremely complex beings that earn the status because the level of involvement is rather intense.  There is a lot of time, money and emotion that is invested.   I also learned that there are varying degrees of hockey moms like having multiple kids in the sport or the GOALIE MOM.  I didn't start earn my title until I survived the end of the first season when I had a little experience under my belt.


Before my little darlings hit the rink, I had to get them outfitted with proper gear.  I knew hockey had a long list of equipment needs but I had no clue where to start.  Fortunately, I am friendly and had some people help me out.  In the other sports, we only had to get a nut cup and maybe a glove.  I thought a great place to start was a little mom and pop shop in my community.  I am eternally grateful to Andy, my favorite sports store guy, for hooking us up.

I walked into his store and tried to be cool and act like I knew what I was looking for.  He saw right through me and handed me a sheet of paper that contained an entire list of required pieces of equipment and it listed the order that it goes on.  I almost kissed him. Within minutes he had both boys set up with some starter stuff.  It wasn't the prettiest stuff, but it was in decent shape, priced right, and perfect for the first year.

Not pretty but it got us through the first season
I must have looked like a moron bringing two boys into a locker room and instructing them how to dress while reading it from a piece of paper.  I got some strange looks as I felt like I was one the only clueless rookie that year (I was not). Practice makes perfect, it only took a few weeks before I was a pro!  I only one time did I put the skates on the wrong feet once and I sent a child out on the ice with skate guards.  Some things are so bad you only need to do them one time before you learn

By the time Diva skated the next year, people were asking ME for advice. Mastering equipment was a major, I was earning that title.

Volunteer Hours (aka Being Voluntold)

When my kids were first in sports, I was clueless about required volunteer hours.  Isn't that an oxymoron...requiring volunteers to work?  In baseball we were required to work one, 1 hour concession shift for our entire season.  That was not a big deal.  Who can't handle an hour?  Once or twice a season, our family had to volunteer to bring the treats after a game. Again, not a big deal.  We are the type of people that like to help in any way we can.  As my kids have gotten older and into more competitive levels of play, I now know that sports associations don't run themselves and it is a requirement to have all hands on deck. 

I was not enlightened to that fact when I signed up for hockey because I still had younger kids.  I had to give the association a check for $250.00 and if I didn't complete my 10 hours of volunteering, they would cash my check.  I think my exact words were "ARE YOU KIDDING ME???" (maybe with a curse word added).  They were going to force me to work in a tournament and then charge me if I am 15 minutes short?  Yes, yes they were.  I a put on my happy face and showed up for my Chuck a Puck* shift.

I know I earned a few points toward my hockey mom title working those tournaments because it helped me learn more about the game and culture of this sport.  Now, I have a lot of hockey knowledge but to this day, I refuse to run the clock or keep score as those jobs are not for the attention deficit like me (not to mention you get screamed at if you screw up).

*Chuck a Puck is a money fund raising game where people purchase numbered pucks for $1.00 and throw them on the ice between the 2nd and 3rd period.  The person with the puck closest to center ice wins half the pot of money.

The Board

Here is my advice for both newbies and veteran regarding a horseshit job so no one wants you around to mess anything up.  JUST KIDDING, most organizations need as much help as they can get their hands on!  Offer up as much as you can!

Another little secret is other hockey moms will ruthlessly recruit you to join or run for a board position.  That happened to me when they were looking for help last year.  They were nice to me, bought me drinks, told me I was pretty, and then told me that the job was  "not that much work".  The next thing I knew, I was the treasurer of our association.  I was lured in by the (small) credit I receive for my ice bill.  I now know why people were pointing and laughing when I took over the position; it is because I need to devote about 40 hours a week to the VOLUNTEER duties on top of my full time job and hauling kids around.  I was a sucker that should have known better.

After my first season, I was well on my to becoming a hockey mom!  I figured out the sign up process, mastered the equipment, and successfully completed volunteering (and got suckered into a board position a few years later).  The next segment of How I Became a Hockey Mom-Part 3 Drinking the Koolaide

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