My husband and I are big hockey fans. I think one of the reasons he fell in love with me was because of my behaviour at our first game together. (While the rest of the crowd was yelling about the offside call, I pointed out quietly that our team had, in fact, been offside). Our daughter came home in a Senators sleeper and spent her late night/early morning feedings watching sports highlights with Daddy. One of her first full sentences was 'Go Sens Go.'
We really, really wanted her to be a hockey fan.
Now, I can't skate, but my husband grew up playing hockey and being coached by his dad, and has coached as well. I knew that he didn't want to pressure our daughter, but I also knew that he would love to share that same relationship with his daughter.
She's a very active kid. We've tried her in all sorts of activities, from soccer to T-Ball to dance and gymnastics, but every summer she's taken swimming lessons and every winter, she's done skating.
But hockey isn't a thing you can just try out, right? You enroll in a league and you practice and play, and it costs a lot of money and time.
Except this year I found out that's not true. While exploring the City of Ottawa Recreation Guide I saw an Introduction to Hockey class for children aged 5 to 7. (They have another for children ages 7 to 12).
It's once a week and a one time fee, and the kid can learn some skills and see whether she really like to play hockey (or just like the idea of playing hockey.)
We're a couple of weeks in and it's been great. The teacher-coaches are awesome and I was very glad to see that a majority of them are women, which makes my daughter a bit more comfortable. There's also a great ratio of coaches to kids.
I can already see her confidence growing on the ice in her equipment and the pride she feels in doing something new that's hard but fun.
If you have a child who thinks the maybe they want to play hockey but just isn't sure, I highly recommend checking out this program. It's being held at a few different arenas in the city.