It was hard having the responsibility of writing our first blog entry and choosing the topic. There are so many things to write about, but since the 3 NOLANS was first created to provide hockey schools to First Nation youth across Canada, I am going to write about hockey schools and the deeper lessons they teach.
If you have ever been to a hockey school, you know that a great one includes excellent drills that challenge your skill level and keep you moving for most of your time on the ice. You also know that a great hockey school has excellent instructors that engage with each and every participant on the ice, constantly teaching how to perfect the drill that is being taught. But sometimes lost throughout the week are the deeper lessons that are learned.
We absolutely love hosting our 3 NOLANS First Nation Hockey Schools in First Nations communities across Canada in the summer months, and we also love what we see throughout the week from all of the youth that attend our hockey schools. Even in 5 short days, we often see a hockey school participant “come out of their shell” and gain more confidence. Whether it’s getting better at a certain drill, or talking more to the other participants that are attending the camp, we love seeing this growth in individuals throughout the week.
We also love seeing the interaction between the participants and the teamwork aspect that is often shown. I remember this one hockey school we did a couple years back in Couchiching, Ontario, and how the kids were all so helpful with one another. During this one ice session, there was one participant who just started skating and wasn’t up to the speed as some of the other individuals in this group. But what did the more advance kids do? Did they complain? Did they try and make their fellow peer feel bad? NO. They each took the time to make sure this individual was comfortable and was not left behind in any of the drills. They even took time away from their drills to make sure this individual was improving.
Yes, without a doubt, we love improving the hockey skills of everyone who attends our camp, but it’s important to realize that sometimes hockey schools aren’t about becoming the perfect hockey player. Sometimes hockey schools are about improving your confidence, making new friends that can last a lifetime, and even making sure that not only you succeed, but your peers and the people around you succeed as well.
Hockey school season is almost here, but remember, hockey is a GREAT game that can teach so many other lessons than just the actual skills of the game.