Rizzo Rink Mite Ice Hockey

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Rizzo Rink Mite Ice Hockey
1001 South Front Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19147
website/ contact: tony@rizzorink.com

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IMG_4442_2Last year we went into some pretty uncharted territory and signed our oldest (5 yo) up for ice hockey at Rizzo Rink. It’s cold, rough and tough love South Philly style all the way. For $150 you got all your equipment (except skates) and it runs from November to March but you also might get way more than you bargained for in the love and triumph department. Please note there are other hockey programs all over the city and some are even 100% free. We just happen to fall in love with Rizzo. We were two months in and I had never been more heartbroken or more proud of Henry then through this experience. I hope you try it and I hope this prepares you.

After you sign up you will get an email about a night meeting and equipment pick up. This meeting will be your introduction into Rizzo Mite Hockey. They will tell you everything you need to know to get you ready for your first day.

2015 Dates:
Monday, September 14, 2015  6PM-9PM
Tuesday, September 15, 2015  6PM-9PM
Wednesday, September 16, 2015  6PM-9PM

YOUR FIRST DAY

IMG_4438If this is your first time you will want to show up early and then show up 20 minutes earlier than that.
• There is street parking or the movie theater parking lot under 95 is a great option and there are always spots.
• Your child’s helmet might need to be adjusted.
• Your little one might be a little overwhelmed by all the hub-bub in the waiting area and sometimes hard to find a spot on the bench.
• First time parents struggle with getting all the equipment on correctly. That is almost a given.

*After our first session the man got up on the benches and shouted “Yous don’t know what you are doing and need to come a lot earlier next time!” All the parents got scolded.”

**However I promise after your third week you will be a pro.

Once you child hits the ice they realize (and so do you) that this is not like any other sport they have tried. With the equipment and learning to skate for the first time their first day can be a total shock to their system…

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Your child might cry and you cannot really do anything about it. The first day in the 5-6 age group you quickly see that we not all starting from square one. About 85% of Henry group could skate and this was clearly not their first rodeo.
This was Henry’s first time and he struggled with learning to skate and having a ton of new equipment on him. When his age group smoked him as they skated from end to end of the rink he quickly got discouraged.

When I called Henry’s name and he looked up at me in full on tears and outstretched arms for me crying Mama. I almost threw up. The feeling in my gut was terrible. When Henry’s Dad tried to go out and get him they said he could not go out there but he would send someone out. Sure enough they sent someone out on skate to help Henry get the hang of everything. At the end of that session I thought for sure that he would never want to come back….to be honest I never wanted to come back. But he did go back. He woke up and went back the very next day. That was the day he fell in love with ice hockey.

IMG_4859You get a lot for the cost of the program. You get a ton of dedicated hockey dads working with the kids. They love the kids and are amazing with them. They do drills, play mini games and even have this hilarious  game where the kids skate around and they sweep them up with the nets…kind of like Hungry Hippos on ice. Sessions are on both Saturdays and Sundays. You can go both days or just one.  They will assign you a time once you register. You cannot change that time. You can try, but I wouldn’t. The first couple of weeks the kids focus on skating. Then they get a practice jersey and then after a few more weeks they get their sticks. The program is done really well and it is clear they have been doing this forever. If you child cannot skate they might have a first day like Henry. If you child can skate they will have a much easier first day. If you child cannot skate I recommend you finding one of the many year round ice rink in the city or in NJ to get them on skates and used to the feeling before the first day of practice.

BREAKDOWN:
Boys and Girls:
MAKE NO MISTAKE…THE GIRLS ARE OUT THERE JUST AS MUCH AS THE BOYS!

Lay of the Land:
Rizzo Rink is really just made up of three areas: Equipment Room, Waiting / Changing Area, and the Rink.

Waiting Room:
This is where you get your little one dressed and undressed in their equipment. Your first couple of times, this room, will just look like complete chaos and there is just no way to sugar coat it. Hockey practice is back to back all morning at that place. As soon as one age group comes off the ice another group jumps on. Do your best to take up as little space as possible so kids are able to sit down and get changed. In other words your beautiful family of four should not sprawl out all over the place. If you are sitting and not doing anything get up and give your space to the parent next to you that is waiting to get their kid changed.

Rink:
Common sense wins the war on this one. It is winter. The rink is cold. There is a ceiling but it an open-air rink. You are standing there for an hour so dress warm. They do sell coffee and breakfast sandwiches in the ice rink.

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There are a lot of kids per age group. Which means there are a lot of parents. Once they hit the rink be prepared to stand on the bleachers b/c that is the best way to see the kids. The number of parents will decrease as the season goes on.

TIPS:

If you are bringing younger siblings you can wait in the heated waiting room with them or there is plenty of space for them around the outside of the rink. Just remember it is cold and it an hour.

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