The “Off Season”?

by Sharon Enck aka PuckGal
Cute feet resting on top of teak chair on the beach

The season is over. Now is the time for a little peace and some family fun that doesn’t include frigid, early morning practices and five game weekends. Whew! Well, wait, there is that goalie camp coming up in June but that is it. Oh, and the tryouts in May but that is just a couple of days; well, a couple of days per team so that should only be about six days total right? And then there was the call from that coach; could McKenna possibly drop in on our camp for a few days so we can take a look at her? I don’t see why not, except didn’t I tell someone she would attend their camp in July? That is months away though isn’t it?

Does any of this sound familiar? You have come to the end of the season; worn out, broke, and possibly even a few pounds heavier from all the takeout you’ve consumed on those late practice nights.  Eager for a little break, you could maybe use the time to regroup and get all those things done you just couldn’t get to during the “regular” season: you know, stuff like breathing.  Sounds reasonable, right?

Sure but it ain’t gonna happen!

If your hockey family is anything like mine, there is always the exception. Like last summer: we were all set for a summer light on the hockey when we got “the call”.

It turned out to be the dad of a boy my daughter played with during her mite year. Seems he was coaching a summer league that desperately needed a goalie.  And of course, he thought of my talented daughter and wouldn’t we just love some free ice time?

He got me at free!

Nothing in travel hockey is free—ever.  What was I supposed to say to that? So, she played. It was fun, exhausting and they took second place.  That year, our season never ended but what a way to burn out!

Moral of the story—the “off season” is never really off. In travel hockey, it is always on, and you are always in it; and despite the griping, we all love it. But this summer, I am limiting it to camps—unless of course, I receive that desperate dad call.

Then, all bets are off—supposedly, like the season. Maybe I need a lesson in saying “no”!

How do you handle the off season?  Does your player stay on the ice or do you create a “hockey free zone” for the summer?”


Sharon Enck, (aka PuckGal) lives and breathes hockey in, of all places, Phoenix, AZ. She has covered the Phoenix Coyotes for several years and her blog, “Covering the Five Hole”, is dedicated to the antics of her goalie daughter, McKenna, and anything related to being a hockey mom. The surly in Surly Gurl Media, Sharon is also a freelance writer and social media manager. Visit Sharon and McKenna at her blog site, PuckGal, and she can be reached at