The much anticipated hockey season is just around the corner, which means my husband is giddy with excitement. Me? I’m stressed about the kids getting proper nutrition to fuel them through the day and into game time. Whether it’s a before school practice or an evening game in another city, feeding a sports family on the go is a challenge.
My stepson Ethan plays goalie for the local A-level hockey team, which means my husband will be at the arena at least three times a week. While I only make weekend games, I am still one of Ethan’s biggest fans, and show my support whenever I can. Right now, that support comes in the form of helping him prep for the upcoming season.
I don’t know how your husband is when it comes to your kids playing hockey but if he’s anything like mine, he’s been in the basement making sure equipment fits and, in what I like to call the “hockey phenomenon”, running out to shop! This is the only time of year that he likes to pull out the credit card.
So, hockey has been in the air at our house, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to check out the new Canadian Tire Hockey School Website. Anything that makes the transition into the crazy hockey season easier is a good thing in my books.
Tom and I sat down together to check it out. The home page is filled with information and once we figured out where to start, navigated into the site and registered, we found a lot of really cool stuff.
For instance, I really like the weekly tip. These are tips given by NHL Team Equipment Managers. I don't know how it is at your house but around here, occasionally, when a parent offers sports advice the kids aren’t receptive until they are told the same advice by another person, like the coach. Now I can refer to these tips and tell Ethan it’s advice from people who really know all there is to know about hockey. Even better...if I can’t find a question answered in the weekly tips, I can submit it to the Ask CTHS feature.
Here's a tip of the week that I just read: “Helmets are extremely important and should be replaced every 2 or 3 years. Make sure there is no pressure on the front or sides of the head and the chin is sitting snug in the chin cup of the cage.” - Paul Boyer – Detroit Red Wings.
Which leads me to another super cool feature, the CTHS Gear Guide.
This is a great tool especially if you are a first time hockey parent. Once you register, the CTHS Gear Guide features a fully dressed hockey player and when you click on each piece of equipment it brings up a window that tells you how that particular piece should fit and how to maintain it. If you are looking to buy equipment, it will also recommend what they think will suit your needs, and bring up like items to compare. My favourite thing about this feature is that it doesn’t just recommend the most expensive option.
Tom thought the Youth Starter Kit they offered was a smart idea and perfect for first time players. I think he’s planning to get it for Siobhan. She may only be one year old, but she’s daddy's latest hockey protégé, and like I said, hockey season brings out the shopper in my husband.
Tom also enjoyed learning new drill ideas and reading all of the articles. He was especially excited when he found this article on goalies.
When Ethan got his hands on the computer, his first question was “Are there any games”? So he was stoked to find the Hockey Card Creator. He immediately made a cartoon goalie in his image with custom pads and helmet.
When he found out it was affiliated with the NHL, it scored a few more points with him. Having NHL Hockey Skills videos and the fact that it links to all of the NHL team websites means the cool factor went up even more.
While all of this is great, what won me over was this nutrition article. They have a certified sports nutritionist giving advice on how to keep your little athletes well fueled. Again, I can use this to show Ethan what he should and shouldn’t be eating and he’ll actually believe me. It kinda relieves me of some of the food stress I was feeling.
So if you too are the parent of a hockey kid (or two, or three), you can sign up here for free and get in on some member-only offers and contests.
As for me? Now that I'm feeling more prepared....let the hockey season begin!
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