#MIKidsCan Giveaway: Youth Hockey Players Heat Up During Winter Chill

During the cold winter months it can be challenging to get kids off the couch, let alone outside of the house. But for youth hockey players, the chill of Michigan’s cold winter months is a sure sign it’s time to sharpen their skates and hit the ice.

Hockey is one of the most physically strenuous sports, with an average of 480 calories burned per hour. Any parent who has carried their kid’s sweat-soaked hockey gear to the car after practice can attest to the intensity.

The sport of hockey has many health benefits for children including improved strength, coordination, balance and decision-making. In addition, research has indicated playing sports such as hockey as a child could help shape success in the workplace as an adult by helping develop communication skills and character.

But all that intensity comes with risk of injury, so it’s important for kids to play it safe. USA Hockey recommends proper fitting equipment – “everything from shoes to mouth guards, pads and protectors” to help prevent injury on the ice.

As a way to thank our loyal Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network customers and encourage them to stay active this winter, the Healthier Michigan team is giving away an opportunity to be a future #MIKidsCan Youth Skater. In addition, the winner will receive four tickets to the game, a youth Red Wings jersey, and photos of the experience.

What healthy lessons has your child learned from playing hockey? To enter simply share your answers with us by leaving a comment below, and your child could be the #MIKidsCan Youth Skater of the Game on Monday, Feb. 16!

This contest is open to current customers of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network. Entries will be accepted Jan. 23 through 11:59 a.m. on Jan. 30. Youth skaters must be between the ages of 8 and 12 years old and must have access to skates, a helmet and hockey pads. To see the full list of official rules click here.

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Photo credit: RichardBH

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  2. My son has been playing hockey since he was 4 years old. At his current age of 9 he has learned so much from hockey. He’s learned about discipline, dedication, commitment, team play, and the importance of 100% effort. One of the most significant healthy lessons he has learned is the difference that strenuous physical activity has on his attention and focus. He has learned that he has an easier time at school the days after he has hockey practice and this is a result from an active mind and body at hockey.

  3. My daughter Bridget has been playing hockey since she was 5 yrs.old,she is 10 now and plays for Belle Tire girls 10U travel team, she has 3 older brothers, 2 that also play & I think she (along with her brothers) mostly have learned to eat right, feed your body the right fuel, and to Excersise & take care of your body, as so your body can work & take care of you when you need it to….

  4. Through his years of playing hockey, my son Andrew has learned the value of regular exercise, the importance of a well-balanced diet, and how appropriate amounts of sleep can effect both physical and mental performance.

  5. My is 12 years old and plays hockey for Belle Tire. He has made life long friends as well as learned the importance of being healthy through hockey. He works out daily and eats healthy, especially on game days.

  6. Nick has been dreaming about hockey long before he could skate. He is now 10 and loves every minute he is on the ice. Nick has learned many great things from hockey. He knows it takes a strong person mentally and physically to play the game he loves so much. Not only does Nick love hockey but he is very passionate about being healthy! Everyday Nick finds fun ways to work out! He creates strength training obstacle, roller blades, plays hockey, basketball and soccer; you name it he loves to do it! I think he is secretly training for the Spartan Race. Nick also encourages his younger sister Natalie, his dad and his mom to get fit with him and get them motivated to go for a run or a long bike ride. The other day in gym class his class had to run 20 minutes, without stopping. His friend was going to stop after 8 minutes but Nick encouraged him and helped his friend to reach the 20 minute goal, together. Nick has also learned to make good food choices too. If you ask him what snacks he wants he will chose fruit and vegetables over sweets, milk over sugary drinks. If you ask him if he wants McDonald’s he says no every time! Nick has learned that staying healthy and fit is a lifelong goal and is on the right track to be a healthy teenager and adult.

  7. My kids have learned valuable lessons thru hockey such as sportsmanship ,being a team player ,and to be responsible and commited to something ,as far as health benefits they have learned to eat healthy and how much good food effects how your body feels versus junk,the physical activity keeps their bodies and minds healthy and keeps them off the videos,lol,also hockey is like a family and is very social and they make a lot of new friends:)

  8. My son Evan is 8 years old and has been playing hockey since he was 5. He loves the game and has learned about team play, taking care of his body, making sure he eats healthy foods, especially before a game. He learns the importance of hydrating. He has also been able to see how practice and commitment improve his ability in the game. He’s learned good sportsmanship. He LOVES hockey 🙂 And it’s something he shares in common with his dad and sister. They love to skate any chance they can.

  9. My son Adam has been playing hockey since he was 3. I love how he such a great passion for the game. Adam has learned making healthy choices in his snacks, meals and also what he drinks will give him more energy to play. And that is all he wants to do is play hockey all the time!

  10. My son has learned so much already from hockey. At age 9 he knows the importance of exercise that hockey provides him. Becoming better at hockey is a huge motivator for him. He knows that additional exercise from doing other activities and sports is helping his conditioning and balance, agility and coordination. He knows exercise is making him a better hockey player when he is active, no matter what the activity. His coaches have stressed the importance of good nutrition and that making good food choices can impact performance. Finally he has learned that no matter how good he is at it, hockey is a sport he can play for the rest of his life, because he comes to watch his dad play in men’s league on Sunday afternoons (and his dad’s 63 year old teammate!). Socially he has learned teamwork, sportsmanship, accountability to friends/teammates. He has learned the importance of communication with your teammates. He has learned to celebrate success, and he has been humbled in defeat. He has learned to persevere when the chips are down, and that complaining about the things you can’t change will not result in change. Hockey is so full of metaphors and life lessons, I could go on and on. He is reading over my shoulder and keeps adding things to the list. Most importantly he has learned that hockey is the best sport ever!

  11. My identical twin sons have been playing hockey since the age of 3. While playing such a physically intense sport, they’ve learned the importance of hydration. They keep water bottles near by all day, at school and at home, and make sure they take drinks during games and practice.

  12. When our fourth child was a baby, we just knew he would play hockey. He loved to watch it with his Dad. It was one of the only things that could keep his attention as a toddler! At nine, Adam has been playing hockey for more than half his little life ( I can’t even believe I’m writing that!) At a very basic level, he has learned so many lessons from hockey. He learned about how to take care if his body, from what he eats to how much sleep he gets. He has learned the importance of stretching before he gets out on the ice so he never has to miss a game because of a preventable injury. But more than that, he has found a place of acceptance. He is the youngest with four with 3 older sisters. The brotherhood that comes along with hockey (for girls & boys alike) is something he really needed and wanted. Adam is medicated for ADHD and a lot of times he feels like he just doesn’t fit in. And that can have serious consequences for a young persons health. But, with hockey, he has found a place where he can be himself!! That is worth more than gold in this Mom’s heart.

  13. My son Luke, age 10, has been playing hockey for 6 years, and has been skating even longer than that. One of they key lessons learned at an early age is that exercise, physical activity, is fun! Luke was born with a congenital heart defect, and we used to worry that heavy physical exertion might be risky. But his cardiologist gave us the green light for hockey and other sports very early on. That’s become ever more important as Luke grows, because he is a big boy with a man-sized appetite. We try to stick with very healthy foods in the house but his appetite never ceases to amaze me. So the regular, demanding physical workout he gets 4-5 times a week from hockey is critical in keeping him healthy. Aside from that, he’s developing great social skills and learning key values that will carry him through life, like team work, team spirit, commitment, respect and dedication, time management and organization (keeping track of all that equipment!) With two older sisters that played hockey and a dad who is still playing hockey at 52, we hope we’re building Luke a foundation to continue a healthy, active lifestyle where he continues to have fun getting a workout by doing what he enjoys!

  14. My son has been playing hockey since he was five years old and is now eight years old . He has learned that it Definitely takes a team to play and win and you can’t blame the goalie when the other team scores .

  15. My son has learned healthy eating and plenty of water makes him play better. He has learned responsibility and dedication from this sport. He has wanted to be a goalie since he started three years ago and made it this year. He works hard and loves the sport.

  16. My son turned 12 yesterday and he has been playing hockey for about five years. He decided at the end of last season that he wanted to be a goalie; so this year has been his first year as a goalie! I think something that he has learned in relation to hockey and being healthy is 1. The importance of a good night sleep.
    2. The importance of stretching. Even young children need to stretch good before getting on the ice or they pay for it! 3. Positive mental attitude is also extremely important.

    Hockey has taught him a lot of important things!

  17. Thank you everyone for sharing your stories about youth hockey. They were all very inspiring! All eligible entries were placed into a random drawing, and our winner is Kimberly Gorris! Stay tuned for another chance to win a youth skater experience on the Healthier Michigan Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/HealthierMI.

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