Well, that’s the end of my season and that means two things: I’m exhausted and in need of a tan.
But it got me thinking, am I so different to every other player out there? From the super elite to the weekend slogger, don’t we all go through the same rituals?
The common denominator that unites us all is the ever-reliable stick bag.
Bashed from pillar to post, there’s nothing quite as sobering as the end of season clean out of that poor old bag.
Below are actual photos from my end of season clean out.
— Tim Doutré (@Timdoutre) September 19, 2015
1. Half-empty Deep Heat tubes
If you’re under the age of 30, chances are you won’t now what these things are. If you’re over 30 and haven’t had to use any of these things before then I am super jealous. I discovered I had a need for Deep Heat, Cool Gel and Voltaren in my early 20s! Old man cream? Not always.
2. Someone else’s hockey ball
Hockey balls are like flies: no one really owns them but they’re always around, and eventually they make their way onto your person. Shout out to the Powerhouse St Kilda Under 17 girls team. I reckon that team would be in their late 20s now. Yes, I’ve had this ball for that long. But hey, we’ve all accidentally pocketed someone else’s hockey ball, right? *awkward silence
3. Strapping tape. Lots and lots of strapping tape
The old ‘not-quite-finished-rolls-of-strapping-tape’ trick. The lucky ones will have strapping tape to touch up their sticks. You know, to keep that pesky grip in place right before the game. The unlucky ones know strapping tape is so much more than equipment maintenance. For them, it’s ankles, shoulders, and everything in between. Don’t get ask me why I can’t finish a roll before starting on the next one. I don’t really have an answer.
4. A disgusting mouthguard
A mouthguard is like car insurance: annoying until you actually need it. Every hockey player has that horror story of how they saw someone who wasn’t wearing a mouthguard in a game or at training and the inevitable happened. My mouthguard is gross, I know. But I’m not sure if I can bring myself to get a new one. At least it’s still kept it’s whiteness… mostly.
5. Beer money
Yes, I understand not everyone needs beer money. So feel free to insert your chosen beverage in the above sub-heading: Coke money, Powerade money, etc. This is what was in my bag at season’s end: three bucks and a random Coopers green lid. A picture tells a thousand words, they say.
6. The stick you hope you never have to use
Now I know the guys and gals at the top level have sticks coming out of their ears thanks to sponsorships, but for your weekend warriors, it generally comes down to just two. There’s your main squeeze (see left in pic), which is with you every weekend, and your back up, which, shall we say, has seen better days. Hopefully the back up never sees the light of day, but as soon as you get rid of it, you know you’re going to need it.
DON’T PUT THE BAG IN THE SHED JUST YET…
For those thinking about hanging the shin pads up for another summer or just getting them dry in time for the summer season, don’t forget now is the best time to pick up some new equipment as prices come down.
While teams are licking their wounds after grand final losses or still hungover from Mad Monday, Just Hockey is offering readers of this column an exclusive 10 per cent discount.
Use the code ‘THENEWDAILY’ at the Just Hockey checkout online, or show this article in store to get the discount.
Full terms and conditions can be found here.
Tim Doutré tweets @TimDoutre