5 Fabulous Reasons Girls Should Try Hockey
By Alex Flanagan
In December 2015, the NHL hosted its first-ever outdoor women’s hockey classic and the first National Women’s Hockey League All-Star Game. With the creation of the NWHL in 2015, women’s hockey is arguably more popular than ever before.
In fact, when it comes to GIRLS hockey, according to USA Hockey magazine, it is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the sport. That’s in large part thanks to women like AJ Mleczko who have helped make women’s hockey en vogue. AJ was on the gold-winning women’s Olympic hockey team in 1998 and on the silver-medal-winning team in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002. She’s now a mother of 4, a hockey broadcaster, coach, and advocate. Her two daughters both play hockey.
Here are 5 reasons your girls should try it too!
“Hockey is unique in that it is played on the ice, on skates, so learning to be a good skater is critical,” Mleczko says. “Hard work off the ice can help you hone your stick handling and shooting, but putting in the extra work on the ice for balance, speed and agility is important for success.
- Girls’ hockey is growing in leaps and bounds which means there are lots of new opportunities.
- When you wear all the gear/equipment, it is tough to get hurt – no matter how many times you fall down!
- Outdoor skating/pond hockey (for those in cold enough climates) – what better way to enjoy a chilly winter day than being outside and playing a game?
- Teammates – locker room camaraderie is the biggest thing I miss about playing hockey.
- Hockey’s not just for boys or tomboys. There are now lots of competitive girls’ teams and leagues emerging. Girls now can choose whether they want to play with their peers or on a boys’ team.
Alex Flanagan co-founded I love to watch you play in 2015. She was flying home from an NFL work assignment when a learning specialist, who was sitting next to her, shared 5 reasons she shouldn’t feel guilty missing her son’s game. She shared their conversation on her own website alexflanagan.com and the response was so overwhelming it inspired her to create ILTWYP to help parents like herself navigate youth sports.
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