sled bar

sled bar
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Important Announcements

Our practices have now officially moved to Mondays. Ice time is 6:10 PM. Please get to the rink as early as possible. Think 5:50 or even before if you are slow to put your gear on (or if you like to socialize before hitting the ice). I know it's hard to get to the rink that early with work and school, but the benefit is that when you get off the ice, there will still be plenty of evening.

Still, always, always call or e-mail first to check on practice day and time if you are a visitor. We love visitors and first-time athletes, but sometimes our practice dates and times do change due to tournaments at the rink and other events. Contact us in advance just to make sure at


 Mugs! Make sure you are selling your heart out! They are $15 each, and if they have to be mailed, they are $20 (the extra $5 is to cover postage). We also have the mugs stocked in the following retail outlets so far...
 Hockey Monkey at 10540 Magnolia, Riverside 
The Eating Room at 107 E. Citrus Street, Redlands

Daryl’s Pet Shop at 1589 W. Redlands Blvd, Redlands

Greater Good Coffee Company  at 300 State Street, Redlands (in the Citibank building)

Kafe Royale 1007 Calimesa Blvd, Calimesa
Redondo Beach Cafe at 1151 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach 

If you know of other businesses in your area that might stock the mugs on consignment, please talk to Todd.

People who don't live close, you can buy one of our spiffy mugs online at Remember, Christmas, birthdays, etc. are coming up.

The Dread the Sled artwork was done by Dan Piraro, the cartoonist who draws the Bizarro comic. He's a hockey fan and kindly donated the drawing to the Junior Reign Sled Hockey team. 


LA Kings Hockey Fest- September 8. We're doing a sled hockey demo at Staples Center. If you are on the team, check your e-mail or call Todd for information.

Click to buy tickets. They're only $20 for season ticket holders, $25 for the general public.


Don't forget to register with USA Hockey by September 1. Click here to register online.  It's $46, and it provides your insurance for the year. Plus, you get a subscription to USA Hockey magazine. You cannot be on the team if you are not registered with USA Hockey. 

Take your printed registration to practice and give it to Coach Andrew in order to be listed with the team. If you are a new player and have never registered with USA Hockey before, talk to Todd, Christie, and/or Andrew to figure out about how to register. USA Hockey waives the membership fee for the first year for disabled players. Take advantage of this offer if you are a new player! 


What are the most important words to say to an athlete who has just finished a practice or a game?

"I really like watching you play hockey."

You can change the words to fit your personality.
"Hey! It's always fun to see you on the ice!"

"I love how much you love the game."

"Seeing you play is the best part of my day."

"You are my favorite player out there."

There is a place for discussing high points and low points. It's not a bad idea to celebrate a goal (or good block) or help the person drown the defeat in a hot chocolate (or other beverage of choice--I'm trying to keep this family friendly, but it depends on the athlete's age and preferences, of course).

The thing is, most of the time, your analysis is nothing new to the athlete. He or she knows when he/she messed up. Athletes often replay bad decisions in their heads far after their spectators and parents have already forgotten about their mistakes. Often, what people call "constructive criticism" isn't constructive at all, and it's unnecessary in most cases. To you, it's just a scrimmage. To the athlete, it was much more.

Nonetheless, no matter what else is said, the main message the athlete should get from you is the idea that your favorite thing about the game is the fact that this person is playing it.  I suppose this would be true of any athlete in any sport--and possibly of any other pursuit as well (music and theater come to mind). Still this is a sled hockey blog, so we're talking about hockey in general, and sled hockey specifically.

Now, what if you *are* the athlete on the ice?

When was the last time you told someone else on the team how much you were happy the person was playing sled hockey?

No, I'm not talking about holding hands and singing Kumbaya. It is a hockey team, after all. Most players thrive on a little ribbing, and some players thrive on a lot of ribbing. I am the queen of sarcasm, in case you haven't noticed, and if I call you "Princess Grace" after you run your sled into the wall, or make fun of a shot that was so wide it you could have driven a Dodge Challenger between the puck and the goal, you'll know you have finally won my respect. One of my college roommates was from Maine and she used to exclaim, "Ya so saw-castic!" I think it's how I show my love. If you can dish it right back to me, I'll be in hog heaven for sure. Keep it fun and keep it funny. That's how I roll.

Still all players will enjoy a little encouragement sometimes as well. I have to remember that. We all have to remember that.

We have had a few volunteers over time who have told us that they appreciated our teams because our athletes show up for the love of the game and are just happy to get the opportunity to play. I guess there are other teams where many of the players think they are going to be NHL stars, and act accordingly (though to be fair, most people in the NHL I have met aren't primadonas themselves as far as I can tell, at least, not as adults). On our team, that's not even an issue; everyone agrees that none of our sled hockey athletes will make it to the NHL (though undoubtedly some might make it to the US National Team in time if they work hard enough). It's safe to say that just being disabled doesn't make anyone happy-go-lucky in and of itself (I've met many pissed off disabled people, especially people who are newly injured. Oops, there goes my family friendly rating).

If you can put a hockey stick in the hand of a person who never thought he'd be able to get back on the ice, or if you can get someone on the ice who has never been able to ice skate because of mobility issues, or if you can teach someone that, despite injury or disability, he is still plenty strong enough to check aggressively and knock another player off the puck, you can change a person's life for the better, both on and off the ice. Maybe that's why our athletes have the teachable attitudes that apparently are found most-often in coaches' dreams. At least, that's what I've been told about our players.

Hockey is hard. It's a lot of fun, but there are parts that are definitely frustrating, especially when athletes get to a certain point where improvements aren't counted in leaps and bounds but in inches and subtleties. As our athletes work on the game, work on their strength, work on developing the elusive hockey sense, and all things pertaining to hockey, it's important to remember that the most important thing we all can do to encourage them is to say, "I really like to watch you."

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