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So I have read here a while and never posted. I learned a ton here when my two sons wanted to start playing hockey.

Thanks for all of you that willingly post and share knowledge of the game.

They are currently 8 and 6. They started learn to skate/play fall of 2016 and my older son joined a Mite team the following spring. My youngest the fall after.

I never played ice hockey, parents couldn't afford it. 

My son's team has a lack of adults on the ice at practice at times. I want to help out to make it easier on the coaches, they are great guys, I mean dealing with 20 Mites with sometimes just two seems a little out of hand. 

I have zero ice hockey experience and I've only skated(if you can call it that) with my boys 4-5 times. Should I just forget about it since I know zero about it or is it possible for a guy with no experience to help out? Is there a crash course? 

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes you can help. Whether is on the bench, in street shoes on the ice or even in the locker room Approach the coaches to find out how you can hlp. You will grasp much more of the lessons than the kids and you can help them understand. 

 

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Anything off ice they need?  I can’t imagine someone willing to help organize practically any aspect of an org would be turned away.

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Howdy,

You won't have to skate like the wind to be able to help them on the ice, but you will need to at least get from one place to another in a reasonable amount of time.  If you can get from one place to another, push goals around, gather up pucks, move cones/tires, etc...  That would likely be a help on ice.  Only way you'll know is if you talk to the coaches and see what they say. 

If you can't really skate, then I echo the off ice aspects... Helping out as a scorer, on the bench running a door, organizing referees, working with your local rink, doing tax forms, etc. etc.  There's a lot of things going on you should be able to pitch in with.

 

Oh!  And yes, there are indeed crash courses at most rinks in terms of beginner skating classes for adults.  So don't rule out just "learning to skate".  There's often beginner hockey classes and even leagues as well.  Be a little careful though... That was how I started and now I play beer league 3 nights a week and ref 2 or 3 more.  🙂

 

Mark

Edited by marka
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6 hours ago, FatWhiteGuy said:

So I have read here a while and never posted. I learned a ton here when my two sons wanted to start playing hockey.

Thanks for all of you that willingly post and share knowledge of the game.

They are currently 8 and 6. They started learn to skate/play fall of 2016 and my older son joined a Mite team the following spring. My youngest the fall after.

I never played ice hockey, parents couldn't afford it. 

My son's team has a lack of adults on the ice at practice at times. I want to help out to make it easier on the coaches, they are great guys, I mean dealing with 20 Mites with sometimes just two seems a little out of hand. 

I have zero ice hockey experience and I've only skated(if you can call it that) with my boys 4-5 times. Should I just forget about it since I know zero about it or is it possible for a guy with no experience to help out? Is there a crash course? 

Thanks.

You should probably just ask the two coaches and see what they think. 

As for being an on-ice practice assistant, I would probably be frank and say no, considering your skating abilities.

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As a trainer, even if you can't skate well at your kid's age, we still need guys to pass the puck during drills, be a presence to keep the kids present and engaged.

Kids do well when their parents are involved in any capacity, even if it's being the jersey guy, or the guy that helps the goalies get dressed, whatever it may be. Take the course on being a trainer/first aid in case of an accident, be the guy that carries the water bottles for the kids to the benches.

You're on the right mindset in wanting to help, this is a great start.

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My only caveat to being on the ice, make sure you can be safe.  Kids that age get behind you, slide on the ice, etc.  You need to be on alert and able to protect yourself (and don't want to fall on the kids!).  I have been playing my whole life and 10 minutes into my first mite practice I was helping a kid and he lost his balance and went down so fast I couldn't react.  His stick came up and got me right above the eye.  Not bad, but bloody which freaked him out and a fraction of an inch from my eye.  

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6 hours ago, BenBreeg said:

My only caveat to being on the ice, make sure you can be safe.  Kids that age get behind you, slide on the ice, etc.  You need to be on alert and able to protect yourself (and don't want to fall on the kids!).  I have been playing my whole life and 10 minutes into my first mite practice I was helping a kid and he lost his balance and went down so fast I couldn't react.  His stick came up and got me right above the eye.  Not bad, but bloody which freaked him out and a fraction of an inch from my eye.  

 

This is very real and can't be overstated. You need to be confident and alert, and wearing proper equipment, gloves, helmet with visor, even elbow pads would be highly recommended first starting out. Chances are you will get knocked down or fall at some point, and the injuries that come from that are no fun.

 

 

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Not to be a downer but it is harder than it looks and if you have only skated a few times and have zero hockey experience you would be more help off the ice. You need to have some skating abilities just to get around the ice and you can't really help with drills if you don't know how to play. You need to be pretty stable on your skates with little kids. If one takes you out by accident it might not only be you that gets hurt. If you have some skating abilities you would be more stable on your skates and less likely to go down. As a coach I wouldn't want you in the locker room because of the liabilities. If you haven't gone through the system with background checks then being in the locker room can be sketchy. All it takes is one parent to make a comment because the misunderstood what a kid said. You also have to think about what the other kids might say to your kids about your abilities. Even at that age they can be rough. And last, you have to think about the other parents, they are worse than the kids.

My suggestion, enjoy learning the game and being able to watch and focus on your kids. Start taking lessons and go to stick & puck with your kids. You might even consider taking lessons and try playing.

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As a guy in a similar spot (never played growing up, not a great skater), I have to agree with the last few posters.  It is one thing to be out there at an open skate and be responsible for yourself, it is another to be out there and responsible for yourself and 15-20 kids. 

I've started the process of getting my Level 1 USA Hockey coaching cert last month.  And that is really just so I can be in the locker room and help run a door when needed.  I ran the clock and scored a few times this year as well.  All of that is fun, appreciated and helpful to the coaches. 

At some point I'd love to be in a position to help out on ice, but need to really work on my skating before I'd truly be comfortable in that spot.  Nor do I hold any delusions about being on ice with my son in that context.  I could skate 5 hours a day, every day, and maybe catch up to their level of proficiency.  He and his team has a serious head start that will be tough to overcome (he's 9, but has been skating since 2.5 and playing since barely 4).  And I've taken skate lessons, was getting pretty decent for a bit, before life took over and I wasn't able to make the time to keep working on the skills.  In that time off, a lot of what I gained left me.  I am in the process of trying to build that back up.  Point is, this sport is about skating.  If you aren't comfortable with that skill, work on it. 

OP - don't be discouraged, but find a way you can help that everyone is comfortable with and start there.  If there is more you want to do, start the process of getting those skills together while you help out another way short term.   

Edited by krisdrum
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To the OP:

IMHO, I would suggest not helping on the ice until your skill level is high enough to play with kids around 1.5X their age.  Most parents wouldn't have a problem with a less skilled parent helping out, but there are a few (and they are always the loudest) who do have a problem with it.  So it's just best to avoid it.  Plus, like many said, if you can't keep yourself safe, then it's really hard to aid in the safety of a large group of little kids.

With that said, you certainly can do things off the ice to help.  I know some parents who assistant coach on the bench, who can't play very well at all, but know the game and study the game.  It's Mites, so it's not like it's high strategy or anything (usually), and if you have a good understanding of the game, even if you didn't play, you can certainly help at that level.  You can also be team manager (under appreciated role, but very valuable), or you can even simply be the parent that helps your kids and other kids gear up in the locker room.

And while you're doing that, take lessons, skate with your kids, practice yourself, and in time...you'll be on the ice with them.  It's a joy that you're giving something to your kids, that you yourself didn't have a chance to experience at their age.  And it's even better that you want to be very involved with them while they're doing it.

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On 3/9/2020 at 11:37 AM, BenBreeg said:

My only caveat to being on the ice, make sure you can be safe.  Kids that age get behind you, slide on the ice, etc.  You need to be on alert and able to protect yourself (and don't want to fall on the kids!).  I have been playing my whole life and 10 minutes into my first mite practice I was helping a kid and he lost his balance and went down so fast I couldn't react.  His stick came up and got me right above the eye.  Not bad, but bloody which freaked him out and a fraction of an inch from my eye.  

Definitely.  Bounced my head on the ice as a Learn to Skate kid slammed into the back of my legs.  Wear a helmet.

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17 hours ago, MyBoxersSayJoe said:

Definitely.  Bounced my head on the ice as a Learn to Skate kid slammed into the back of my legs.  Wear a helmet.

Seconded.  A few years ago when I was skating more and pretty comfortable, was at stick and puck (all ages) with my son, who was 6 or 7 at the time.  We got a little cross ice game going, dads vs. kids.  Was going after the puck with a kid, who was maybe 8 or 9, didn't want to crush him, ended up falling awkwardly, caught an edge on the way down, and dislocated my knee cap.  Luckily it popped right back in, but the inflammation after had me in an immobilizer brace for a few weeks and knee brace for awhile after that.  It was a tough lesson to learn.    

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My dad was in the same boat as you - wanted to be involved, but really couldn’t skate/didn’t have any hockey skills.  Though, he did know the game a bit, being a long time Flyers season ticket holder (at the time he and my stepmom were the type that goes to 39 out of 40 home games a year).  Anyway, the way he ended up helping was to run the score clock and keep the game sheet, as someone else above mentioned.  He did that literally every year from being a 5 year old mite to a 15 year old midget, before I moved away to play at prep school.  So I’d recommend doing that or something similar to help out.  

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There are a lot of important roles, not just those on the ice.

Once your kid is playing organized hockey on some type of select team, the manager role is huge. All you need to be a good manager is a level head, good organization and communication skills, and the ability to role with the punches. I coached youth hockey allstar level, and the choice of team manager was huge - the difference between a good or bad season was largely on the quality of team manager you found for that role.

So to the OP - if you're motivated and want to help, don't be discouraged if you lack on ice skills, a hockey team is more than that - there are other ways you can be a key part of the teams' success while you work to develop your on ice skills.

colins

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