Military Spouse Magazine

OCT 2018

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Page 28 of 35

The sharp whistle cut through the cold rink air, stopping 30 hockey players, raising parents' heads in the stands. The coach skated to one kid and explained the drill, again. The others grew restless. In this small town, they had played together since kindergarten, usually with this coach. They knew his drills, anticipated each other's moves, knew their places. The tryout wasn't looking good for the new guy. While military families tend to be active people, keep- ing up with team sports can be difficult for their children. The towns surrounding installations sometimes struggle to in- corporate them. Why should a team take a chance on a new Playing the Game The pitfalls and possibilities when it comes to military kids and competitive sports. By Tonia G├╝tting, Army Spouse G O O D A D V I C E player who might be gone again in a year, especially over a local player who grew up in their system and did everything asked of him or her? Moving messes with tryouts and train- ing camps. Plus some areas don't have certain sports. Still, the military kid holds some aces sometimes for the very same reasons it is difficult. The exposure to many coaches gives experience and nurtures flexibility. The ability to jump into a new team is an advantage when they hit the col- lege level. Moreover, military values teach leadership skills. A few proactive tips can help a moving athlete stay competitive. And even when the military life costs a season, people find the silver lining. >> Photo of Ariel Okorie by Selina Huggard OCTOBER 2018 / MILITARYSPOUSE.COM 29

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