When Theresa Sanchez learned her son’s PeeWee hockey team was holding a scrimmage game between the parents and players following the season, she knew she wanted to play. The only problem was, she along with many of the other moms, had never played hockey.
But the mother of three exercised the advice she would give her kids and showed everyone it is never too late to learn a new sport.
“This was a big goal for me – to get somewhat good enough to play and stand my ground in a game of hockey,” says Sanchez.
She learned about WinSport’s Discover Hockey program, which runs 12 weeks and teaches basic hockey skills, including the rules of the game in a group setting. Sanchez said the program would prep her for her son’s game, but was also an opportunity to understand and appreciate a game her three sons were so passionate about.
“I got a bunch of the moms together and said, ‘let’s do a sport that our kids love so much and we’ll appreciate the sport even more,’ ” Sanchez says. “It’s also something active we can all do together and we’ll get to know each other even more. It was almost like a nice team builder for us moms.”
During the fall, Sanchez and a bunch of her ‘hockey mom’ counterparts suited up for the first time and hit the ice for the Discover Hockey program.
“Going on the ice for the first time was the biggest challenge because we were all different skill levels – some people had some hockey, skating or figure skating experience, where for others, it was one of their first times on skates.”
She said the instructors paid close attention to what each player wanted to get out of the program, so a lot of the instruction was tailored to individual goals. Sanchez also said despite being elite hockey players themselves, the coaches were patient with the group and took the time to demonstrate and re-demonstrate drills.
“The instructors were amazing because, being new, we all had different skill levels and they evaluated the group as a whole and actually asked us what each of us wanted to accomplish,” says Sanchez.
Similar to an actual hockey team, the group began to bond and the experience extended beyond the ice. Sanchez says she became friends with many of the participants, who often went for beverages following their on-ice lessons.
“I got to meet so many people – learn how to play hockey with them and know them personally,” she says. “It was interesting to hear how everyone just wanted to get something out of the program for themselves – it’s not all about their kids necessarily – it’s having a sense of being able to say ‘I’m able to do this.’ ”
And she did in fact do it. Sanchez says her hand-eye coordination and skating improved and she can now perform a ‘hockey stop.’ But most importantly, she played in her son’s parent-team scrimmage.
“It was so fun and I actually scored,” she explains. “My son said to me in a very delicate way that I wasn’t good, but I wasn’t that bad – so I’ll take that as a compliment!”
WinSport’s Discover hockey program runs throughout the year beginning at age 4 and also includes women’s-only programs. For more information, visit: https://www.winsport.ca/lessonsprograms/iceprograms/hockeylessons.cfm