Girls Hockey in Texas. Sophia and Ryan's story

Girls Hockey in Texas. Sophia and Ryan's story

This blog post was authored for FTLOH by Ryan Reformado, a hockey dad and an assistant hockey coach to a 10U team in Houston, Texas.

When Texas and youth sports come together, the thought is usually baseball, softball, or football. Not many people think of ice hockey, let alone girls hockey.

How we got hooked on hockey

It started with an in-line skating clinic at school, and getting some roller blades for Christmas. I could never get Sophia to take them off, it was a constant activity. One day, I suggested going ice skating, and she was skeptical that I could even skate. I played hockey as a kid, and thought it would be fun to skate again. I laced them up, and I could feel the itch to play again. Once it bit, I couldn't shake it.

I had decided to sign back up for the adult league, and Sophia was mildly interested in playing. She signed up for learn to skate classes, and hung out with the local all girls program – Houston Girls Hockey Association, HTX Storm. She decided to sign up, and within the first season she played she kept progressing. Since signing her up for the classes, she has been all in on hockey.

Leader on her team

Fast forward to today, and Sophia is one of the leaders on her team. She has developed her skills and has been practicing almost daily. I have taken up coaching, and we have both been growing together. It was difficult in the beginning, with her learning to be part of a team. Her drive to be the best, was also something that held her back. She did everything she could to be the best, and at times did not listen to the guidance in front of her. Her attitude has changed and her game has taken off onto a new level.

We have taken our roles within the Storm to help grow girls hockey in Houston, and hopefully everywhere. It has been rewarding watching her create relationships, work on her skills, and gain confidence all through this beautiful game we love.

Life at all-girls hockey organization

Being a part of an all girls organization has been a blessing, yet there are many parents that have the attitude of “don't get beat by a bunch of girls.” Some parents at tournaments have been down right nasty to our girls. Its true, hockey is a male dominated sport. Yet, our girls thrive and are competitive with the boys teams. Its rewarding, not only to build confidence, but also to show the girls that not everyone is going to be supportive of them. Most people that we talk to are extremely surprised that there is even hockey programs available in Houston.

Final thoughts

Overall, the hockey community is extremely welcoming. With the power of social media, networking with other players and parents has help with development and confidence with my girl hockey player. Communities such as For The Love of Hockey bring parents together, to mingle and unwind. Being a parent of a youth athlete is extremely tough, yet the rewards are infinite. Many of you reading this will understand, that there is no greater joy than seeing your hockey player score that first goal, or hit their first bar down. The smile, the celly, the excitement. I hope it never fades. I hope that her love for the game burns until she can physically no longer skate. I hope the joy and excitement will stay with her, and with me. I will never forget her first goal. I will never forget her tears of losing her first tournament. As a parent, you love them. As a coach, you develop them.

In the end, it's for the love of hockey.

Follow Sophia's journey on InstagramCheck out Sophia's FTLOH Brand Ambassador bio here


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