Today was the hockey clinic that I organized for the HART foundation! It was a really fun day filled with laughter, learning and of course, hockey!
Here's what happened: I arrived at the rink with my brother and one of my teammates. We set up our forms and folders at a table conveniently placed by the door. Soon enough another one of my teammates showed up with her sister, a ten year old goalie who decided that she wanted to join in on the camp. Now, after about three weeks of advertising I only attracted about ten girls who confirmed that they would be at the camp. That is not that many if you think about it in the grand scheme of things, however, it was a lot for the first time I was organizing the event.
After I set up the forms and my other two helpers arrived, more girls started to come through the doors. Two ten year old girls that played for Troy Sting 10u came and immediately skipped off to locker room four that I had acquired. I received the parent's names and the thirty dollar fee from the fathers. Then I asked them if they were members of MAHA or the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association. If they were not, (however everyone who attended was) I would have to have them sign a form for liability reasons. More girls started to come as my two helper coaches camp. Coach Mike, my coach from last year Victory Honda and Coach Kevin, my defense coach from this year Belle Tire had agreed in advance to help me run the stations.
After sitting at my table for thirty minutes, nine girls had arrived. However, right when we were about to get on the ice, one participant realized that she forgot her skates at home! I offered to give her father a refund for his money since he had already payed, however he said that I should keep the money because it was for a good cause. We all got on the ice after that situation. I found some cones that would be needed later and three nets that we would be using. After staking around and warming our legs up, I called over the girls and my teammates or fellow coaches. To start the two hours of ice time I just welcomed the eight girls to my clinic! After introducing the coaches and giving a short synopsis of what the girls would be doing I put them into a line on the red line to do some skating and edge work. During this first twenty minutes of the clinic one girl from Saint Clair Shores 10u came up to me and said that this was really fun. It is amazing how one compliment can make you feel so good.
After the skating we played two rounds of sharks and minnows, which the girls loved. Next, I had the girls partner up and get into four stations, so that would be two to a station. There were four stations, each one had to do with a necessary skill needed to play the game. Two of my teammates from Belle Tire ran the stick handling station. They did simple but effective drills that every hockey player should be doing. For example, stick handling through pucks, tight turns around cones, pull a move around a cone then shoot, figure eight stick handling, around the world, protecting the puck and so on.
Here is a picture of their station. These girls are about to execute some tight turns. Here is another picture of the girl protecting the puck from me. I am acting as the defender in this case.
The last station was passing. Coach Kevin ran this one. I had him run the girls through all different types of passing such as back hand, forehand, indirect, 2 on 0 regroup, touch passes to a shot and following your pass as well as reading the play to get open for a pass.
After the hour of stations, with each station being fifteen minutes long, we went to a scrimmage then a fun game that we at Belle Tire 16u like to call baseball. I had to explain it to the girls, but they understood after a demonstration. Here is a picture of me drawing up the drill.
Last we did an ultimate shootout in which the goalie did a fantastic job and shut out every single girl from scoring! Some of my teammates later called her the wall.
With the last minute we took one group shot then got off the ice to get some snacks! (I made cookies, brought clementines, and chewy bars. The rink manager allowed us to give out free Slurpees and hot coco. The rink manager, Sam, was a huge part in helping me make the clinic a success! He gave me the free ice time, liability forms, cones, some advertisement and free drinks! Thanks Sam!)
After the girls got off the ice and snacks were being distributed, many parents came up to me to thank me and congratulate me on a job well done. They asked about my hockey club and were interested in maybe joining their daughters in the club. Many were very impressed and were happy that their money was going to a good cause. A father asked if this was going to be an annual event, and said that if it was to be, he could bring his whole team next year and bring a lot of girls. That got me thinking... I would make this an annual event! It will be a lot easier to attract girls next year and I can donate the money to a new charity that needs donations.
After doing this camp I was so proud that I, one sophomore, could pull this event together. Even though there were not many girls this year, I was still surprised of the huge positive results I received from all the parents. I think I surprised myself in that I worked so hard to put it all together and I now know that one person can make a difference, no matter how small and that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. The two ingredients needed to make a change in the world are passion and hard work. Nothing worth gaining was ever gained without effort.
I am so excited for next year's camp and cant wait to continue fundraising for my project. This week I earned 300 dollars to donate to the Haiti and Africa Relief Team. This hockey clinic inspired me even more to fund raise more money for my project. I can't wait to get started!