Over 570,000 people are registered in Hockey Canada and over 600,000 in Hockey USA. It's a national obsession. But what does that really mean when your child wants to play on a team? As a former varsity athlete and university instructor teaching sport literature, novelist Angie Abdou is no stranger to sport obsession, but she finds herself conflicted when faced with the reality of the struggles, joys, and strains of having a child in amateur hockey. In Home Ice, with equal parts humour and anguish, Abdou charts a full season of life as an Atom-level hockey mom, from summer hockey camp to the end-of-season tournament. Her revealing stories and careful research on issues such as cost, gender bias, concussion, and family pressures offer a compellingly honest and complex insider's view of parenting today's young athlete in a competitive and high-pressure culture. (From ECW Press)
From the book
"Have fun! Try Hard!" That was the coach's rallying cry for every pre-Novice hockey game during my son's first year in the sport. "Have fun! Try hard!" I love it. The slogan applies to so much in life — work, writing, marriage. If you have fun and try hard, the rest often sorts itself out.
I wrote the slogan in red crayon on a torn piece of paper and taped it to the laptop where I spend my days either teaching creative writing students online or pounding out my own stories. The slogan stands as a reminder that, sure, okay, I will likely never make the writer's equivalent of the NHL and, yes, I know, I cannot expect a pot of gold at the end of the novelist's rainbow. I can, though, enjoy the process. I can take pride in my work. I can always push myself to do better. I can find meaning in the challenge. And those things — in and of themselves — can be enough. They have to be.
If hockey began and ended with that "Have fun! Try hard!" philosophy, I would have no reservations about my son's participation in the sport.
From Home Ice by Angie Abdou. ©2018. ECW Press.