Shotfromthepoint’s Blog

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…and so we begin again…

Posted by Astra on September 28, 2009

It’s not that I can’t handle pressure – I can.  It’s not that I avoid excitement and tension – I don’t.  It’s not that I shun competition and the chance to shine – I relish it.  I don’t mind being held to a demanding high standard and proving myself worthy.  But when my own flesh and blood is subjected to a candidate selection system that attempts to single out the best person for the job, my own feelings of self-worth are completely traumatized.  I close my eyes and wish it over with.   I am, of course, describing the life of a hockey mom during competitive tryouts.

hockey tryoutsMy hair has thinned somewhat, particularly in the spot where I have twirled strands around my fingers about a million times.  And speaking of fingers, my nails are nibbled to near non-existence.  I am still rocking back and forth and side to side like some deranged deluded psychopath.  Hockey try-out season, which began August 22nd, has recently ended for our family.  I’m not kidding, it was really nerve wracking.  Some hockey parents never go through the gut wrenching stress of worrying about whether their kid is going to make the team… they always do.  For the vast majority of kids though, a spot on “the team” is the biggest goal to which they’ve aimed for so far in their short lives and remains elusive.  The process – for me anyway – is somewhat overwhelming and occasionally flawed.  However long the schedule seems to me, my kids never feel like it was long enough for the evaluators to “have a good look”.  Despite my own uneasiness about the process, I certainly do not envy those coaches who have to deliver the fateful message:  “I am releasing you from this try-out.”   Ouch.  The first year I went through this process I thought, if nothing else, what a great exercise in resiliency training.  My child may be disappointed – but hey – this time I am not to blame.  It doesn’t work that way in hockey motherhood though – I know that now.  Even if it’s not my fault, it’s still my fault. 

 In the end, my kids are happy with the outcome as they understand that their placement prevented someone else from realizing their goal for this hockey season.  I am happy with the outcome too, as we now settle into a season of with two competitive and one recreational hockey team members.  It’s been quite a season already, and it hasn’t even officially started.    It’s time to move on… to the team Ice Breaker parties of course!

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