Matt, my 10 year old, has been at hockey camp this week. It was quite an honor to attend, as only certain kids were asked to skate. The camp was taught by a Ukranian, who travels the Northeast US to teach hockey to young Americans. The coach brings 10-15 Ukranian kids with him so they can be introduced to American culture.
Matt has had a good week. He was the second youngest of all the kids so he was a bit nervous going on Monday. He soon realized that kids are kids no matter where they live on the globe. It was a great cultural exchange for the children. Not sure I could put Matt on a plane, send him halfway around the world knowing only three words. But I guess for the Ukrainian kids this shows them a bigger world and an option out of their poor country.
I am thankful for the coaches Matt has had so far in hockey. This guy was a yeller and tough. Not to say tough isn't what I want for Matt. It's good experience for him, but let's face it, he probably isn't NHL material!
I have a hard time when other hockey parents come to us and tell us that he has talent and we should push him more. Do I really want this for my son? What is my goal of having him play sports? It isn't to achieve a scholarship to college (although that would be nice) and it isn't to go on to greatness in hockey or baseball (his other sport). I just want both my boys to understand what playing on a team feels like. The drive, dedication, sacrifice, teamwork that all comes when playing a team sport.
So now we can rest until October when hockey begins again...and just be a plain old kid!