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Season Kickoff Checklist

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 08/21/17, 1:30PM EDT

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Getting ahead of the new hockey year

It’s hard to believe that the summer is almost over and that another OMHA season is just around the corner! While the temperatures outside and those in the rinks are on opposite ends of the thermometer, it’s the time of year to start getting the mind back into hockey mode. Use the extra few days before the season starts to make sure you have everything ready and aren’t left scrambling.

There’s a lot that could have changed since the last time the skates were laced up. New skills were honed, players took advantage of the warm weather and other sports helped grew better all-around athletes.

Get ahead of the game by going through this checklist and making sure you are ready for hockey.

Plan out the Calendar

Once you receive your practice and game schedule, try and plan your calendar with any other events to avoid any conflicting dates. Hockey takes up a lot of evening and weekends and knowing in advance what dates are being used will save for any last-minute decision making. It’s understandable if you will need to miss a game or practice because of another important commitment, just to avoid making it a habit by planning ahead.

Does the equipment still fit?

Every parent know how fast children can grow. Buying new clothes and shoes seems to be routine but don’t forget about hockey equipment. Getting fitted before the season keeps players safe on the ice by protecting them properly. Make sure that they can still fit comfortably into their skates and that their stick is the proper size. In running shoes, the end of the stick should reach between a player’s chin and nose. Double check other equipment like shoulder pads, helmets and shin pads. These often come with adjustable sizing to increase the lifespan of the gear. Get fitted for a new mouthguard if necessary.

Many associations offer ‘equipment swaps’ just before the start of the season and this is a great way to make sure your old equipment finds a new home while saving money on the newer fitting gear.

Have you taken the Respect in Sport course?

At least one parent or guardian of each player registered in the OMHA will be required to complete the Respect in Sport - Parent Program as a condition of participation. The one-hour online course is a proactive, educational program that empowers parents with the tools to ensure the game is enjoyable and respectful for themselves, their children and all other stakeholders in the game. This only needs to be completed once.

Get your skates sharpened.

Getting your skates sharpened is a must before the season. The blades will likely have become dull after not being in use for. Having sharpened skates helps to increase stability and ease mobility on the ice, especially while making turns. This is also a good time to check on the overall condition of the skates, most importantly the sizing.

Start getting into a routine.

Everyone gets to relax during the summer with no school the next day and not running on such a tight schedule. Giving your body a few days to adjust to the timing of the upcoming school year and getting back into a routine of proper sleep and eating will help with the transition. Going to bed at regular hours can give your body an advantage at upcoming tryouts or practices.

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