Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: 7-year-old Sara Woll: A life (already) committed to hockey

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 5, 2013 - 10:49 AM

“The more she says, ‘Yes,’ the more we let out the leash,” he explained at one point. “If it gets to be too much, we’ll slow it down.” Molly added that hockey will end if Sara’s grades plunge.

The Wolls occasionally hear others wonder whether it is all too much. A friend told Molly in July that her own daughter — after four years of swimming lessons — had suddenly announced that “I hate swimming.” Molly said the friend then asked: “Does Sara really enjoy hockey, or are you just kind of pushing her into it?”

Molly said she and her husband wonder whether friends might be whispering “behind our backs” that they have gone too far. Sometimes “we totally doubt ourselves,” she said. But Molly said that when they ask Sara whether she still likes hockey, their daughter “looks at us like we’re nuts.”

There is, of course, another tally, and Molly knows it well: 1st Athlete — $68 a month; Minneapolis Storm hockey — at least $250; the cost of outfitting Sara in hockey gear, which was recently stolen and had to be replaced — another $400.

“It’s still a stretch on us to pay for this stuff,” Molly said. Sara, in addition, attends a private school.

“We want to give this to her,” Molly said. In mid-October, while outlining Sara’s upcoming week, her mother talked of training and practices on five of the next seven days. “Next week — Girl Scouts!” she said, adding one more activity.

Exercising caution

On Halloween, Sara dressed as a werewolf. Her mother, meanwhile, breathed easier because layoffs announced last week at one of her jobs will not affect her.

“I made the cut at work!” Molly e-mailed.

There have been results.

“A lot of times the kids that miss summer [training] look kind of shaky the first few weeks” of fall league play, said Eric Loichle, who coached Sara last year and watched her during her third practice of the fall in early October. Sara, he said, “is real comfortable, [skating both] backwards, forward.”

But there also are words of caution.

“She’s one of the younger athletes that we have,” said Karl Erickson, the director of sports performance at 1st Athlete. But “at seven, I don’t think you can tell where somebody’s going to be when they’re 18, [or] 16.”

Though Sara’s father has wondered when it might make sense for his daughter to start lifting weights, Erickson was firm.

“Right now, Sara, she doesn’t have that mental maturity yet,” he said. “I would still like to [wait until] she’s closer to 10.”

As a steady stream of young hockey players entered and exited 1st Athlete — the logo says the company is “Building Tomorrow’s Champions” — an ad by the front door extolled the virtues of Coco 5, an all-natural coconut water drink that “contains all 5 essential electrolytes.” Mike Powers, a trainer at 1st Athlete, said he has 75 to 100 training sessions a week, mostly boys and some as young as 4. “They see the progress, [and] they get hungrier,” he said. “Kids are sponges.”

But he added: “There’s a fine line.”

Move ahead

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Los Angeles - C. Frias 2:10 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 2:40 PM
Arizona - A. Chafin
Boston - C. Buchholz 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano
Toronto - J. Happ 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
Washington - B. Treinen 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Wood
Miami - H. Alvarez 6:10 PM
NY Mets - D. Gee
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb
Cincinnati - D. Corcino 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Chicago WSox - C. Sale 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Cleveland - C. Carrasco 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Detroit - D. Price 7:10 PM
Minnesota - K. Gibson
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Wilson
Texas - D. Holland 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM


Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29




question of the day

Poll: Do you support Wednesday's decision to sideline Adrian Peterson again?

Weekly Question


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters