I was trying to think about what to write about as a goalie Mom. I have 2 children, a boy (age 11) a girl (age 9), who are both goalies. My son has been a goalie since he was 7, he played both House A and this year he is U12 Rep B. My daughter started as a goalie at age 8, she plays Boys Tier 1, U10 Competitive AA. I do my best to never have the horrible “car ride home “after a game. I do give them feedback after their practices, but do not after a game when emotions are high. Tonight, I learned an important lesson that I think all goalie parents need to learn – what it’s like to be a goalie.
How often have you arrived a little late to practice or game and told your child “Hurry up get dressed” and after a game “Oh my goodness, what took you so long to get your gear off”. Both my children are old enough to get their gear on and off on their own. My kids usually have a 90 minute to 120-minute practice – I love watching them, its my time to unwind, have a coffee and relax. After a practice, I have been known to jokingly say “Don’t forget to keep your glove up”, “work on your speed at getting up quickly”, “Stay in your stance”, “Follow the puck with your eyes to your glove”.
Tonight, I learned a hard lesson. We were going out on our ODR and the kids thought it would be fun for them to skate out, and I could be the goalie. My son and I are the same size, so I said sure, you guys are never going to score on me! The rule was, I had to get dressed on my own with my son’s gear, go through some warm-up drills with them, play a game, and then get undressed. Ok sure, does not seem so hard…. boy was I wrong. I had no idea how hard it was to get gear on, it started off easy enough, Jill, pants, knee pads, skates, then pads. So, the toe bungy was a real struggle, I was exhausted trying to bend and get those on, then I knelt into the pads, reaching around to do the ankle strap and then all the other straps done, I could finally sit up. I finished doing up the pads around the top part of my legs and knee area, alright halfway done. Upper gear, neck guard easy, then chest protector, wow that thing weighs a ton! Once I had it on it was a struggle to move my arms over my head. How on earth do my kids get their own jersey on, I struggled with this for about 5 minutes. At this point I am exhausted, and I have not even set foot on the ice. (I am in good shape, exercise daily, so this should not be so hard). Helmet, a little tricky with my lack of arm movement, blocker, trapper, stick…let’s head to the ice!
So finally, on the ice, the kids teach me C cuts, T pushes, and Shuffles, they were not so bad. Then came getting into butterfly and doing power pushes. My kids make it look so easy, it is not! Then they throw in some Up-Downs, at this point I am struggling, but I cannot let them know that. Then we start a little game, the puck just swooshes past my glove, then my blocker, oh and the most embarrassing is on the ice through my stick. My kids yell, “get in your stance”, “keep your stick on the ice”, “follow the puck”, yep, they got me, its a lot harder than it looks. Then they say let’s do some deking. Ok, I just follow the puck, hold my ground, do not back up too soon. Sure, wishful thinking. They deked the pants off me, then I heard it some more, “Why are you on your belly, that’s the worst position to be in”. Come on Mom, just power push over, keep your eye on the puck, they say. I am thinking oh my goodness, I had no idea how hard and tiring it is to be a goalie. Afterwards, I lay on the ice on my back and make a snow angel, the kids say, “get up off the ice, its not the time to lay down”. We had a blast out there, I learned a lot, the kids were great teachers. I have a newfound respect for my two goalies—I will never make any more comments to them after a practice again. I highly recommend that every parent put on full goalie gear and give it a try, from start to finish you will have a new understanding and appreciation for your goalie.
-Written by Christine Godin
About the Author:
First time blogger. Mom to 2 goalie kids in Ottawa, ON. I grew up playing hockey and wanted my kids to enjoy it as much as I did, however I never dreamed they would both be goalies.