When Cooper came home from school with a TRY HOCKEY FOR FREE card in his backpack I was about to trash it. He on the other hand, posted it on his bulletin board next to his calendar and announced he was going to play hockey. I would have ignored the posted card, if he didn't ask me every day when hockey was. I was really surprised. "You can't skate" I would tell him. "You have never really even seen ice". "So" was his reply. I explained it was like soccer but on ice skates and you hit a puck with stick and you will fall a lot and it's really cold. He looked at me like "who cares?". He really didn't like soccer, he never wanted to score and could have cared less about running after the ball. So when Sat rolled around, I thought, I'll take him to expose him to it, let him try, he'll hate the skates and the falling and I'll try again another year.
But when we got there, he jumped up and down as he waited for the hockey coach to suite him up ( Lord knows I had no clue how to!). He was so excited! For something I thought he had no idea about.
Cooper could barely wait to get on the ice.
So he got out on the ice, held up for 30 minutes of the 1 hour of the class by such a sweet teenage boy dressed in a number 9 jersey. "Better him than me" I thought as I imaged what it would have been like to try to hold myself up on skates and a scared screaming kid clinging to me.
But number 9 was patient, taught him how to fall, how to get up, how to hold and balance on his stick.
And then I looked away for like one second and I couldn't find Cooper. Kids were crawling all over the ice, coaches skating around and I was sure someone had taken him off. But I didn't see him because he was skating on his own...scooting his puck along.
The next time Cooper cried was after Brad got off the ice with like 15 minutes left of the class (he had had enough falling I think!) and I said "ok..... you done buddy?" and he started to scream and cry at me from inside the rink "NOOOO, I don't want to get off the ice!!!". Ok then..."Go on!" I yelled. "Stay until they say you are done!" And off he skated, in an immediate smile as I stood there in shock!
He LOVED it. Since, he has asked everyday when he goes back to hockey. We have 2 more free trials we will test out to see if this is something he really likes. I was beyond thrilled to see him have no fear, no doubts and such love for team and community! You could see him light up when the coaches told him "Great job Cooper!" and when the huddle came in the end....he is right there on his knees on the left of this picture below, in the black skates, listening intently. He told me "his team was a really good team."
I bet they are!
(in this video Cooper is alone in the center coming toward the camera)