Cheering on the Pittsburgh Penguins

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With the Penguins moving one game closer to the Stanley Cup, it is a good time to talk hockey. Weaver Homes is a local new home builder who takes pride in building community- one way they do this is by sponsoring youth hockey for both Allegheny and Butler County families. The Baierl Iceplex located in Warrendale, PA has a solid youth program. Just north of the Iceplex is the Penguins training ice rink that is open to the public for leagues, lessons, and open skates. The Penguins moved their training facility to Butler County two years ago with a multi-million dollar investment in the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in the primary practice and training facility for the Pittsburgh Penguins as well as a comprehensive outpatient facility for UPMC Sports Medicine. This first of its kind facility in the Pittsburgh region.  Many pro hockey players live in the area and skate with their kids. Some of our areas’ best businesses such as Dick Sporting Goods, PPG Paints, and Weaver Homes sponsor youth leagues and programs.

Youth hockey continues to boom in our region. It’s a great way to bring families together. Not only is it fun but it’s a great workout. Hockey is one of the best cardiovascular games you can play. Alternating between skating and rest (what is known as interval training in the fitness world) improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, allowing it to bring oxygen to the muscles more quickly. It also helps to prevent injuries that often come with other sports that engage in repetitive movements. Playing hockey burns a ton of calories. Many children are facing problems with weight and diabetes as a result of eating foods that are high on taste, but low on nutrition. Playing hockey one or two times a week can offset those foods kids enjoy so much and give them the energy and desire to go outside instead of laying on the couch. Hockey requires a high level of coordination; regularly playing can develop a child’s gross motor skills, which leads to improvement of the more difficult fine motor skills, and improves eye-hand coordination, which can translate to a better understanding of spatial relationships. It also requires strength, something that can benefit a child in whatever activity he or she pursues. Stronger muscles improve endurance and create stronger bones.

Along with great exercise is learning teamwork, making friends and being coached. We have great coaching in our area, often the coaches are dads, and sometimes these dads are pros.  Last month ESPN featured some Western PA families when discussing zealous hockey parents. Here is an excerpt from the April article.

“But it’s an example of what many youth coaches — even former pros — sometimes deal with when they leave the game and step behind the bench of minor or youth hockey teams.” One dad was even trying to question Mario Lemieux’s coaching. “If someone is willing to tell Mario Lemieux, who is in the top five players to ever play in the National Hockey League — how to run a power play, then anyone is open to criticism,” said former NHL goalie Brian Boucher, who coaches his son Ty’s bantam team. “Parents are unbelievable.”

Hockey means gear. The average player has 35 to 40 lbs in the duffle. A smelly equipment bag is the bane of every hockey parent’s existence. The key to a sweet-smelling season lies in the airing out of gear after each use.  Good advice is to have a clothes tree and make sure the bags are emptied so everything can dry out.

A new home can be designed to have vents and air where you need it most and sports lockers large enough to hold all the gear. Think about a making your new home a hockey home and working with a builder who understands your needs- featuring an extra large garage with the equipment and laundry room at the ready right off the garage to keep hauling equipment and clothes easy. 

Weaver Homes has two perfect move-in ready hockey homes located in Vista Ridge only 15 minutes to the rink and around the corner from Mars schools.