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A baseball pitcher immediately after releasing her throw.

The Pros & Cons of Summer Sports That Aren’t Hockey

03/27/2015, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

Does sitting outside eating sunflower seeds sound appealing to you?


The summer is quickly approaching! No more rain, no more snow more rain - it’s time to get outside and enjoy all the wonderful amenities we have here in the lower mainland.

Although, for the hockey-obsessed, our minds never stray too far from our passion for the ice. That’s why I’m here to remind you of all the small ways in which other sports are related to hockey! So when you’re feeling guilty for throwing a ball around because you feel like your child is going to be left behind, remember this list. 


Pros: Goaltender instructor Sean Murray talks often about how playing baseball as a young’n helped him develop his hand-eye coordination for his glove hand. I think all goalies are a bit weird, so I’ll just choose to agree with Sean. For forwards and defensemen, baseball is an opportunity to learn a game with strategy, where there’s less luck involved. Hitting and catching the ball improves hand-eye coordination for players as well.

Cons: Parents have to sit outside in the sun eating sunflower seeds and peanuts.


Pros: The footpad required to be a football player is the biggest pro for converted hockey players. There’s nothing like the threat of a 200 lb linebacker attacking you to get your feet moving quickly. Football also teaches young athletes how to deal with contact properly at a young age, something hockey has been struggling with for a few years.

Cons: Parents have to sit outside drinking lemonade or “pop”. 


Pros: Talk about a tough sport. Any activity that calls itself a sport while utilizing the primary piece of equipment like a samurai sword is going to be good for mental and physical toughness. Ever watched highlights from Premier League Soccer? This is what lacrosse players watch when they want a good laugh and/or cry. 

Cons: Parents must watch their children get ‘tenderized’ by other children.


Pros: Agility and quick feet are the name of the game in basketball, but being able to move quickly will also seeing the court is a gigantic asset. One of the NBA’s most exciting players, Steph Curry, does this better than anyone. The truth about hockey is that you can coast and still make plays. Someone like Sydney Crosby or Zach Parise, however, dominate the opposition because they keep their feet moving. 

Cons: Parents are limited to buying shoes. That’s it. (Have you sensed the sarcasm in the cons yet?)

Ultimate Frisbee

Pros: Yes it’s a sport! Ultimate Frisbee is one of the funnest ways to spend your time. You can play with a league, with a team, or with grandma and grandpa at your next family reunion should you be so inclined. The best part is that the players with the most energy (the kids) will also work the hardest, burning that energy away. In other words, Ultimate Frisbee is a great way to spend some time with your family without working too hard. Specific to hockey, Ultimate Frisbee is valuable because it works on endurance, coordination and footspeed. 

Cons: I’ve got nothing. There’s nothing I can even joke about here. Ultimate Frisbee rules.

Picking up another sport this summer is valuable for so many reasons, not the least of which being they’ll all contribute to one’s hockey skills when the time comes to put the skates back on. All these sports will contribute to fitness, good health and keeping up an athletically-inclined routine (practices, games, sleep).

The biggest benefit though? Mindset. We’re all so obsessed with playing hockey year round that we’re slowly extinguishing our burning desire to play the game. Doing anything over and over and over again, even if you love it, will numb the joy that results in doing it right. 

So stay hungry for hockey this summer by putting it on the shelf for a little while*.

*How long, Kelvin? One month, at least. No skates, no sticks, nothing. For one month.

photo credit: Baseball via photopin (license)

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