I had played ice hockey for years and loved every minute of it. As a young man my biggest dream was to one day play for a pro team. Unfortunately for me that dream would never come true. Due to an injury I suffered I had to hang up my skates and eventually choose a different career path. After graduating college and starting my new job, I finally decided to settle down and get married. Thoughts of having children of my own led me to have a new and better dream. I hoped to one day have a son that would love hockey as much as I do. I also hoped that he would eventually want to play like I did. So as my son grew up I taught him the rules of the game and I taught him how to skate. My goal was to make him aware of the sport and then decide for himself if it was right for him. I didn’t want him to feel pressured to do it because of me. I always felt that parents these days are to hard on their kids when it comes to team sports. It takes away from the true intention of joining the sport which should be for kids to have fun, learn new skills, and make new friends. The decision was his and his alone. So imagine the joy on my face when he told me he wanted to play hockey on a real team. I have to say it was one of my proudest moments. These days joining a team sport at any level can be a very costly and time consuming endeavor. Luckily many local businesses will help sponsor a team. We checked out a few teams in our area we knew of and finally settled one. Oddly enough our team’s sponsor was this carpet cleaning guy from Hawaii. Come to find out his nephew plays for the team. After meeting with the coaches of various teams and seeing the way each one runs there club, I thought it best to choose a team that focuses not only on fundamentals and winning at all costs; but a team that pushed family values, friendships and having fun. Now it was time to buy equipment. Being so young, my son wasn’t able to use any of my old stuff so we had to go all new. I didn’t realize how expensive things have gotten. After traveling, dues, and costs of equipment, one year of youth hockey can cost you thousands. Thank goodness we have a sponsor to help with some of the traveling costs. The next hardest part was trying to work around my son’s new busy schedule. Between games and practices it can be very exhausting for a parent. My wife and I would take shifts so that it wouldn’t be to much for only one of us to handle. A lot of times I would think “man, now I know what my parents had to go thru for me when I was a kid.” I started to have a little more appreciation for my parents after that. My wife and I always both go to watch his games. The best thing a parent can do for a child that plays sports is to support them every way they can. To this day my son still plays youth hockey and he loves it.