Youth Sports & Coaching Expectations

There is a great deal to say about this fairly vague title. When I have the time to dive deeper and set the context more fully, this topic (and others) will split off into at least a couple of more focused threads.

For now, the place marker is to establish a dialogue with one’s self, team, players’ parents, and coaching staff about what the expectations are for a given season. What is the level of play? What is the expected level of competition? What type of experience and coaching/training are the players bringing to the table?

In youth hockey, as in many other areas of sports and performance (all of this is just as important in the arts and music, mind you), the level of competition continues to increase, expectations follow, and those gaps are fertile ground for, yet a fine line between, either a tremendous learning experience or a horrible experience for all of those involved.

What skill set do you have to navigate this crucial territory? What are the means and frequency of communication between players, coaches, and parents? How do you know when you’re headed in the right direction and when you’re headed down a detrimental path?

These are only three of a countless number of questions to be asked. And here is a place to discover the answers.

Let’s play.

Stanley Cup Finals – Go Wings!!

It’s on, folks.  We made it to the Finals.  I’ve been able to watch a ton of really amazing hockey all playoffs, including my team (the Wings) which I saw so rarely on tv being out there in New Hampshire.

But it’s on.

And it outta be a great series.

The hockey this year has been so so good.  Like really really phenomenal.  What is happening on the ice forgives double scheduling the Detroit Pistons playoff run.  And as I told a buddy of mine (who’s never played the game and complains about everything) who was ranting about scheduling conflicts and tv coverage and all:  DON’T LISTEN TO BETTMAN!!  Why would you listen to an interview with him?  Why would you give him the time of day?  You know crap is gonna come out of his mouth.

So the “product” on the ice is what we’re all here for.

And it’s gonna be a dandy.

Livin’ the dream.

Go Wings!

Hobbies, Self-Care, Vision, and Joy

Tomorrow is my last day of class.  I woke up this morning really tied up in knots.  For many reasons, some obvious, some not so obvious.  It’s interesting for me to notice that the past two days I have been knowing I need some exercise…even a walk.  I could feel that tension building to a degree that even in the rain, I needed to get moving.

So waking up all tied up today sans exercise (the past few days as well as for way too long – only 2 road bike rides so far) was all the more difficult knowing I’d have to really push to make time to release some energy.

After tomorrow, I should have more time for many things that have been left behind, neglected, forgotten about, etc. during this 4-year marathon of a graduate school program.  And to think I still have a full year of internship and dissertation left…

What are some of those things (not so much “people”  because those ones are too obvious) that, in between today’s bouts of excitement, sadness, joy, and despair, come to mind?

•    Photography (in particular more nature photography I used to do)
•    Gardening (we’ve had a pretty sweet garden the past 2 years, but it was starting from scratch and now we’re moving)
•    Exercise (weights, triathlons, mountain biking come to mind as things I haven’t done.  I’ll keep up on hockey, hopefully snowboarding a few times next season, road biking (still new to me), and showing the boys what nature is.)
•    “My Practice” – this is what I call the larger things that make up spiritual practice and growth
•    My Vision – time to go back to the Vision Quest and ween or prune out what’s not useful anymore.

This is just a starting point.  But it’s refreshing to know that I might have some psychic space opening up to “tend the garden.”

But first, I can’t wait to experiment with trying to stay in bed for 24 straight hours.  Recovery begins on Tues.

NHL Playoffs Ready to Rock

It is just fantastic when the small things in life shine on you and alleviate some of the weight. We go to our the well and to our allies, and these can take many forms. For me, in the spring? It’s here:

The NHL Playoffs

It is a display of some of the most intense human effort known to man, especially for the teams that not only survive the regular season but progress throughout the road to the Stanley Cup.

I could go on and on about the many facets of my experience, but if you know…well, you just know. If you don’t, give it a shot. It’s good medicine. 😉