Happy Valentine’s Day

Here’s a Valentine’s gift for you, reader. Download and print your very own hockey Valentine cards, perfect for gifting to your favorite hockey fan, or to keep tucked away for when you need to feel some love. And if you don’t see your favorite player here, just let me know and I’ll be sure to include him or her next time.

Valentines Here’s a PDF if that works better for you.

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Product review: Carpe + discount code

carpeWhen you are an active person, you tend to sweat. Sometimes a lot. And though the whole purpose of physical activity is to get your heart rate up and get a sweat going, sometimes the sweating part is counterproductive to the activity. I struggle enough to hold a down dog without having my sweaty hands slide across my yoga mat. And I will never attain chin-up board status at the gym if my hands are slipping on the bar. Even in the cold winter months, my usual activities can raise a good amount of perspiration, which is probably why the people at Carpe thought I’d be a good reviewer for their product, an antiperspirant hand lotion. (“We’ve found a sweaty one, let’s give her a call,” is probably what went through their minds.) I said sure, why not? which usually just gets me into trouble but this time it worked out well. They sent me a tube of Carpe Antiperspirant Hand Lotion for free to try out and review, and a code you can use to get a 20% discount.

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Back in the sports saddle

Last year, I went cold turkey on youth sports. No softball, no hockey, no baseball. No team manager jobs. No youth board positions. Nothing. See, Kid 1 graduated and his collegiate baseball career ended. Kid 2 transferred schools. And Kid 3 hung up her softball cleats and went to a school in a place where the ice rink isn’t even open year round.

It was kind of awesome, to be honest.
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The good, the bad and the stupid: A weekend of youth hockey

team photoA few weekends ago, I willingly monitored 29 Squirt hockey games. It involved about 40 hours of watching other people’s kids play hockey and eating rink food while inhaling Zamboni fumes, but it was mostly fun. In many ways it was a snapshot of everything that is right, and everything that is wrong, in youth sports.

What was right: Read the rest of this entry »


Battle midseason malaise

We’re about halfway through the hockey season and it’s starting to wear on me. And judging by the crabby parents and a general malaise at the rink, I think the wear and tear of the season is getting to everyone.

The sparkle has worn off and we’ve settled in to a routine– go to practice, play a game. Go to another practice, then another. Sharpen skates. Book a hotel. Drive to a tournament. Play more games. Drive home. Sharpen skates. Wash jerseys and lucky t-shirts. No trophies this year; not yet anyway. Just a long slog through another seemingly endless hockey season.

No matter how much your kids enjoy playing, or how much you enjoy watching, at some point you kinda wish it would be over and you’d have your weekends and Tuesday nights back. And that people would pay their ice bills on time and the rink would get the schedule together. But I digress. So how to you fight the malaise? How do you restore some of the luster to a long season? Go back to the basics. Not basic skills. Basic FUN. Read the rest of this entry »


Youth Sports Safety Roundtable

I’m hanging out at the NFL offices today with a host of youth sports representatives, including USA Football, Hockey, Basketball, Cheer, Gymnastics, Little League Baseball, US Lacrosse and Soccer, plus a host of bloggers and parents.
We will be talking about ways to make sports safer for all participants. I’m very happy to be included and am looking forward to a very informative and productive discussion.

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That’s no ref, that’s my son!

Every game you go to, in every sport, you hear it. Coaches, parents, and often times players, complaining about the refs. The ref cost us the game. The ref is a homer. The ref just outright sucks. Well, don’t worry, Stripes. I’ve got your back.

Why would I defend the most universally hated people on the sports planet (well, next to this guy)? Not because it’s really just a bunch of whining, which it is, and excuse making, which it is, but because it does a disservice to the coaches, the players, and the refs. That’s right. Here’s why you need to get off big Blue’s back.

VWrefJLA Read the rest of this entry »