WEHP Feature – Life As A Spring Hockey Parent
In a series of special features this summer, we will interview some hockey parents we have gotten to know over the years and discuss the ever growing spring and summer hockey phenomenon. Many parents of these young hockey players, whether they can afford it or not will find a way to have their child playing April – June on the various spring hockey programs travelling from Boston to Chicago to Los Angelas to Vancouver and to Winnipeg in June. The tabs can run on average of nearly $20,000 and add to that if they go to an academy during the season, families can be spending what an average Canadian earns annually! The more elite the teams, the high the cost due to the sheer volume of tournaments and travel which coincides. Hockey has truly become a 12 month per year phenomenon between league play, camps, tournaments and spring hockey. Recruiting is at an all-time high and it starts before the Super Novice Brick Tournament where kids as young as 8 years old are being sought after for various programs.
*Here is an interview we conducted with a hockey parent who has a couple children at various levels of Spring Hockey. Follow future newsletters throughout the summer for more features like this and interviews with some WHL scouts and other fun features.
What is the decision behind or what led you to put your children in to spring hockey?
More frequency. Improve their skills and improve their skating. Expanded wide range of friends from all parts of the city. Different coaches provide more hockey IQ and different perspectives. Physical fitness and staying in shape is a big part of the extra program. Nutrition learning and counseling helps create solid lifelong quality habits. Testing your abilities at a higher level with a higher caliber of player as an opponent.
What is the level of enjoyment and how do you feel this has help your young hockey playing children?
Both of our sons have enjoyed very much all parts of spring hockey programs. An increase in passion and enjoyment of the game has resulted in winter hockey success that keeps fueling the energy 2 get better at the game of hockey.
Having met a variety kids from around Saskatoon, it allows them to have friends in all regions of the city while they play in the Citywide programs.
How much time commitment has it taken to be as involved as you are with spring hockey?
As a parent, the time commitment is very intense. It requires a lot of planning and coordination between both parents and the rest of the family. It is well worth the effort and the commitment financially that is required, as we feel the enjoyment of our children well overrides the other efforts that is needed.
It varies by team, but most weekends in April May and early June you are at the rink with at least one of my two children. Quite often and normal is having both kids playing which requires lots of coordination.
What is the cost of having a child involved at a moderate to high level of spring hockey?
The cost of having your children involved in spring hockey can vary based on the program that you are committed to. The following expense budget what is required in a two to three month program are the following:
Team Fees, hotels, gas, meals for tourneys, team clothing….
This year my 2005 son total cost would be over 10,000 while the 2002 with fewer tourneys due to their age group would be less.
If you could do it all over again, would you?
We would go the same path again…no hesitation!
What are some of the disadvantages (if any)?
Some of the disadvantages of playing spring hockey would be first of all the cost to the family. The next cost would be the time commitment needed. The third disadvantage would be the lack of opportunity to play other sports in their Peak Seasons, to round out the athlete with other sports experiences. Another disadvantage would be the lack of family time exclusively with all members that one place.