There are many reasons why hockey is a great time for most and an obsession for many. In the sport you have team bonding, many laughs, challenges and accomplishments. But what sets hockey apart for a 9 or 10 year old? It's she sheer speed of skating combined with changes of direction (multiplied by 12 fast players on the ice all with a similar goal). There's a lot to like for your mini adrenaline junkie.
You may have heard the Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid was recently clocked at over 40 km/h in a game. He's one of the fastest on the planet. For 9 and 10 year olds their top speed will be less than McDavid, but did you know these kids are approaching and surpassing 20 km/h? They walk at about 4 km/h, run close to 11 km/h and swim a little slower than they run. Try to think of sports where kids approach 20 km/h at age 9 or 10....Speed skating and biking come to mind. Neither has the multi-tasking which hockey does. Our great game has a lot going on - at a speed our elementary school children don't get to experience very often.
Imagine going top speed on a rush, coming up to the other defender, slow slightly, fake one way, slip the puck between their legs and explode back to top speed before sniping a wrister past the goalie - to which the game then comes full circle. The kids are back to high 5s, group hugs and laughs.
Hockey really is a unique game. Let's keep it fun, positive (especially on bad days) and treasure the moments. We know they don't last forever and as we've solemnly learned from Humboldt this month, the moments can end far too soon. Catch your little speedster and give them a hug.