Hacks When The New Normal Isn’t All That Normal

The NHL successfully rolled out its plan for the return to play. Now it's our turn to come up with a playbook to safely bring hockey back into our lives.

There's no doubt things will be different this season. From our kids walking into the arena fully dressed, to the constant cleaning of our kids' equipment and the environment inside the rink, to wondering how we're going to pull off socially distanced fundraisers, we'll face plenty of challenges to ensure the game can go on.   

Detroit hockey mom Sherri French, who is also a lifestyle and parenting expert, is here to assist.

"By being organized, we can help our kids keep track of everything that pertains to hockey and keep it clean at the same time," she says. 

Here are a few pages from Sherri's playbook: 

Be Rink Ready 

Keep a five-gallon bucket in your car and fill it with disposable masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, water bottles, cloths to clean faces and hands. 

Keep the small stuff, like mouthguards, helmet repair kits, hand sanitizer and wipes, in a toiletry bag so you're not fishing around the bottom of hockey bag looking for them.

If your kiddo has to arrive at the rink already dressed, bring a towel or small rug to place at the rear of the car for those parking lot changes. 

And you may want bring snacks and drinks with you as concession stands and machines may be closed.

Prep With Positivity

For many families, hockey has been knocked down the list of life's priorities for the first time in a long time. It's been a constant evolution with a steep learning curve.

There's little doubt that hockey will look different this season. Summer showcases and traditional holiday tournaments may be benched and road trips detoured well into the new year. Body checking may spend two minutes in the box as many state and local guidelines stress social distancing on the ice.

What's most important is that your kids are back on the ice playing the game they love, and it's up to each of us to set the tone and remember that any day on the ice is a great day.

A Team Effort

The hockey community is a unique one. We are brought together by a shared love of the game and forged the sacrifices we gladly make for our kids. So many have struggled through this time in different ways. It's important to tap into your inner Gretzky and offer up an assist in any way you can. And as we come back to the rink, it's so important to welcome everyone back warmly (from a comfortable distance, of course.)  

Stay Safe With Good Habits 

USA Hockey's Player Safety Manager Kevin Margarucci reminds us to wipe down every piece of equipment with disinfecting wipes after each use. Most equipment can be washed in household washing machines with regular detergent. This should be done weekly or at least every other week. Don't let equipment sit in the bag. Clearly mark water bottles, towels or other equipment. No sharing.

There will be plenty more to learn as we navigate our return to play, knowing that life for us won't truly get back to normal until the puck drops.




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