Wednesday, August 6, 2008

3on3 Hockey Champs, Meh

Cole is so happy that his Wednesday 3on3 team got a trophy from Canlan Ice Sports. An undefeated season!

I don't think he cares particularly that they actually came in 1st, or the amount he learned over the season, or that his Dad was his coach, or that they didn't lose a game all season, but he's happy for more hardware to put on his bookshelf to be dusted!

This kind of hockey is different from winter hockey because there are only three players per side with one goalie rather than the regular five players per side and one goalie. Cole elected to join THREE 3on3 teams this summer. He knew this summer that he owed it to his new coach and his new team to start in September in the best condition possible.

Okay, before all the mums out there go crazy that he's working so hard, in a week of 168 hours, he is on the ice playing hockey for three of those hours. A grand total of 1.8% of his time, or 2.7% of his 112 waking hours. Less time than he spends in front of the T.V. or on the computer or reading a book!

In this particular case, for this team, we registered him and payed our fee without having him linked to any existing players or team. He takes his power skating and private lessons at this facility and we really enjoy the programs. He has played on a summer 3on3 team since he was in kindergarten. So, a random team was put together and he was on it. A couple of weeks before the season there was no coach for the team. We got an e-mail, along with all of the other team parents, to see if one of us would step up and offer to open and close doors and make sure water was available, on a weekly basis. (Truly, with 3on3, that is all you do as there is no practice and really no "coaching".) I convinced Louis to do it. How hard is it to open and close a door and show up on time?

Oh, and know the rules. Louis is a rule guy. He has enough respect for the game, and the facility, to know the rules. It doesn't matter the sport, if he's going to coach, he is going to know the rules. He will absolutely stretch a rule to the point of breaking, but he won't break them. This is an admirable trait. Isn't it?

Have I mentioned that there are three girls on the team? Three amazing, kick-ass, talented, tough, brilliant, crazy girls. One of them is the spectacular goalie. The other two just know how to play hard, know where to be and know how to score. These girls leave the boys on the team in their dust ... or snow, as it were! Unreal they are all so good.

Have I mentioned that I live in an incredibly competitive town? Filled with very successful A-types who have earned great positions and great careers. The same ones who will sap every drop of ambition and drive from their little angels by micro-managing their activities so that it is no longer fun and no longer represents a metaphor for life? These parents truly believe that rules are made for everyone else! If there's an excuse to be made for poor behaviour they'll find it, twist it and make it the problem for someone else to clean up? Cheating and poor sportsmanship is okay as long as you aren't caught and you win. But no one will ever admit to cheating or twisting the truth, after all, they won, right?

I'm proud of my son. I'm proud of my husband. I'm proud of their team.
They played hard, they played fair, they played by the rules.

Cole spent the day at the facility, on the ice for 6-hours, taking body checking and elite skills. He was exhausted. He was so pumped up. No excuses for him, but he was a bit slower than usual and a bit sluggish. But he played his heart out. One of the girls is broken and bruised. Of nine skaters on the team, six showed up and one of them was hurt so bad, on purpose, by the opposing team, she spent the better part of the game puking her guts up at the bench. She never left the bench. She even played the last five minutes of the game. One of the opposing players shot the puck, purposely (yes, we're at that level) at Louis' head and then had the nerve to tell Cole to "do something about it". I'm glad my son held his head, his hands and his elbows!

They pulled out all the stops. The opposing coach, who, up to this point, I respected greatly, proved himself to be just like the rest, the quintessential Oakville coach. Very disappointing. He cheated by calling up extra players because his team was short as well, even though the rules state that six or more players you cannot call up or recruit additional players. The issue was the uneven playing field. No doubt our players would have enjoyed some extra bench time as well but it didn't occur to our coach to cheat to make it happen.

The opposing team was winning for most of the game. The players, the coaches and the parents in the stands were obnoxious about it. After all, they were beating the undefeated team. The team with "those girls".

The most disappointing part of the game was that my son, my eleven year old little boy, watched poor behaviour displayed for him by adults. Those he is to respect and emulate. He watched a girl, a fellow player, be purposely hurt because she is a good player. His head is spinning. He is full of questions. Full of confusion.

At least, true to the innocence of his age, he's happy with his trophy.

Oh, and the best part? The coach for the opposing team is the new AA coach for our town (2 levels higher than Cole is now). Cole now knows he has no hope of ever making that team. I now know that is not necessarily a bad thing.


CloverGirl said...

That is just awesome!! Congrats to Cole!

Heather said...

What a great post! And a great accomplishment! I loved trophies when I was his age too!

Cyn M said...

Way to go Cole and Louis!!!

Now, about those jerks roughing up the competition! What a petty bunch of S.O.B's!!!!
So much for a fun game eh?