Sunday, December 28, 2008

Life Lessons for Cole

The "Twin Towers" of Defence on Cole's hockey team.

Our Ranger team is playing in a tournament this weekend. Not just any tournament, but one that our town is hosting. There is an expectation that we will win. After all, we're first in our loop; have made it to the semi's and finals in every "A" tournament we've entered; and we're an "AE" team playing other teams at our own level.

The first game yesterday morning was a thrashing of Aurora. The Aurora team is first in their loop and touted to be the best product in Ontario. The expectation was that this would be a tough game to win. Our boys won 6 or 7 to 1.

Cole was hurt during the game and an elbow or stick was shoved between his shoulder blades during one hit or another. Not bad enough to take him out of the game. BUT we did take the time between games to visit the chiropractor and have x-rays taken. Turns out his injury from earlier this year never healed properly, but nothing can be done so we have to strengthen his tendons and muscles. The injury yesterday was a bruise, right on the bone, but again, nothing can be done. Just time and rest. Hard to come by during a tournament. Plenty of time to rest on Tuesday and onward.

Onto the next game against Flamborough. They play in our loop and they are a tremendously disciplined team with tons of potential to be a great team. They're just not as well conditioned as our boys and fade in the 3rd period. They lose their legs. Our team went into the game too confident. The natural outcome? We lost. Not badly: 4 to 3. There were lots of reasons, but hey, for a team that doesn't lose it came as quite a shock ... to everyone. The Flamborough team earned the win. But at the end the boys - remember, they're 11 years old - lined up and hollered, mocked, cursed at and laughed at our team as they left the ice. They were as provocative as possible.

Cole, the 11 year old he is, lost his head, took off his glove and gave the one-finger salute to the Flamborough team. He wasn't the only one, he was the only one caught.

I was furious with him for his unsportsmanlike behaviour. (I was probably more furious with those who pointed out to me that I should address him about his behaviour - like I wasn't going to? Clearly you do not know me.)

It was a slow drive home with much conversation. No yelling or anything like that. Cole was in tears leaving the rink as he realized almost as soon as he had done it that his actions were unacceptable. We had a pretty constructive talk about expectations. My concession: if you aren't going to play a sport with passion then don't play at all; but, there is a time and a place for everything.

We have another game at noon today. Hopefully everyone has re-grouped and the boys can play like the team that they are: strong, feisty and fast.


shirley said...

I admire how you post about these real life experiences. I hope the subsequent game was a win for your team.

Cyn M said...

You know, with those boys razzing yours, I probably would have given the one finger salute too! But, it IS unsportsmanlike and I would have had my head down too! :(
Sounds like those Flamborough boys need a kick in the pants for acting that way in the first place!