Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hockey Puck History

   I once saw one of my son's hockey coaches take a bite out of a hockey puck.  I guess I need to set that up better.  The remarkable action followed his big boasts to the young boys on how it was par for the course during his big, bad days of college hockey (insert caveman sound effect here) to rip off a chunk of the puck with your teeth.  Those who dared to doubt, witnessed the jaw dropping action as the coach opened wide, bit down, and a big black chunk disappeared from the six ounce disk of vucanized rubber.  Yes, it was all too much, and it got me wondering whether those little black objects were always made out of black rubber.  I think the coach actually would have enjoyed puck biting in the early days of hockey.  I'm talking way back when...even before they used coal,  wooden pucks and cow patties.
   After a little bit of researching,  I discovered this interesting tidbit..."Mothers sometimes put hot baked potatoes into their children's skates so that the skates would be cozy and warm when the children reached the rink or pond. The potatoes were not thrown away. They eventually froze and were used as pucks. Although rubber was invented in 1839, it wasn't until the late 1880's that someone thought of making rubber pucks." 

    Interesting and a little something to chew on next time I see a coach take a bite out of a hockey puck!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Concussion Facts

What every hockey parent needs to know.  Here's important information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

How Can I Recognize a Possible Concussion?

To help recognize a concussion, you should watch for the following two things among your athletes:
•A forceful bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that results in rapid movement of the head.
•Any change in the athlete’s behavior, thinking, or physical functioning.
Athletes who experience any of the signs and symptoms listed below after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body should be kept out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, experienced in evaluating for concussion, says they are symptom-free and it’s OK to return to play.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sticks and Laces

 When was the last time you did a sticks and laces check?  16U Blazers hockey coach Mike Zandri recently did, and what he saw among his team of teens prompted him to quickly fire off an e-mail to parents and players.  While it may seem like small stuff,  as coach Zandri points out, the right sized stick and how you lace up your skates can make a big difference in a player's performance on the ice.  So let's review ,as the coach delivers some timely advice.
    "The past couple of times on the ice, I noticed some of the boys are using sticks that are too long.  General guidelines are nose in sneakers and chin in skates.  An inch can make a big difference, as it causes the toe of the stick to pop off the ice."  Wow, who knew?  The coach also points out, " Good pass catching requires the entire blade of the stick on the ice with the blade cupped and some down-pressure on the stick.  The blade should wear evenly.  If the heel is wearing unevenly compared to the rest of the blade, then the stick is

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Puck Hog Goals

 It's an anxious time for me, waiting for The Puck Hog to be available to young readers and parents.  The edited manuscript and artwork have been shipped off to the printer, and North Country Books predicts it will be another four to six weeks before the book will be in stores and on the shelves.
   So what inspired me to write the children's book?  Children.  If you've ever watched a youth hockey game, then you know and you've seen the passion these kids have for this sport.  I want to tap into that passion for sports... and get our children passionate about reading!  Hog books...not pucks!
   Then there's the other goal of getting kids to think about how they play the game.  Teamwork. Caring about your teammates.  Unselfish acts, like passing the puck to someone who hasn't experienced the thrill of scoring a goal.  How do you deal with the puck hog on the team?  There are so many opportunities for our kids to develop character, as well as skills.  Good coaching and level headed parents play key roles.  I think the kids will relate to this story.  There are no magic hockey sticks or helmets.  It's real life drama and who knows, maybe it will lead to a few more drama-free hockey seasons!