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A close up of the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.

Cookie Monsters Guide Part 1: The 17 Cookie Monster Essentials

10/31/2014, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

Here's what you need to be prepared for Cookie Monsters.

 

Watching your child step on the ice for the first time is a magical experience filled with joy, exuberance and pride.

Until, that is, the first time they slip on an invisible banana peel and wipe out on the cold, hard ice.

Cookie Monsters can be difficult to watch because you want to see your child experience immediate success. Professional hockey players, wait, Hockey 4 hockey players zip around the rink with ease - they all make it look so easy!

Well, it’s not easy. Learning to play hockey takes a lifetime (in fact, the day a player or coach says they’re done learning about the game is the day they should retire).

Fortunately, there’s plenty of things you can use to prepare yourself and your child for cookie monsters.

Hockey Gear

Cookie monsters classes at the North Shore Winter Club require a full set of hockey gear, because there’s nothing worse than suffering an injury your first time on the ice. 

  1. Helmet with a cage. Whether it’s open ice or a cookie monsters class, don’t put your child’s new teeth at risk.
  2. Elbow pads. Elbows are the second body part to hit the ice when a little guy or gal falls.
  3. Shin pads. Knees are the first.
  4. Hockey pants that fit.
  5. Shoulder pads that fit.
  6. Neck guards and jock straps. Get used to ‘em now!
  7. Gloves. Make sure they’re snug and flexible.
  8. Skates. Please don’t buy skates that your child can grow into. Skates that are too big make it impossible to properly learn to play hockey.
  9. Stick. Doesn’t have to cost much because at this age it’s mostly used for balance.
  10. Small, light jersey and socks.
  11. Water bottle.

The Hockey Attitude

This section is for cookie monster participants as well as their parents. Your child will take his or her cues from you in the early going, so make sure you’re offering a positive example.  

  1. Positivity. The only option after you fall down? Get back up!
  2. Encouragement. Stick with it!
  3. Listening skills. The ice is the coach’s classroom.
  4. Patience. Learning the basic skills of skating and stickhandling takes time.
  5. Work Ethic. This is an easy one to confuse at a young age. 
  6. Teamwork. There will be other players on the ice, sometimes your child might even bump into one of them. This is natural, the next step is to get up, ask the other player if they’re alright, and carry on. 

The Goals of Cookie Monsters

There are two main objectives we, as coaches and parents, are trying to demonstrate in cookie monsters: fun and learning. 

Cookie monsters should be a riot for everyone involved. If the goal of cookie monsters was to make an elite team in the following few years, then the point has been missed. If this is the goal, then this type of attitude will never go away - not in atom, not in peewee, never. We need to teach our kids to live in the moment as soon as they step on the ice. Hockey is a game that teaches us not only to improve our balance and coordination, but life skills as well. 

Is it ok to encourage the cookie monsters to be better hockey players? Of course it is! However, we should be preaching improvement for the sake of improvement, for the sake of the process itself, and nothing else related to something that may or may not happen a few years down the road. 

photo credit: Bacteriano via photopin cc

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