My 9-year-old brother Zaza recently got to hang with the Arizona Coyotes and watch them practice at the Ice Den. So, this month, Zaza is reporting all about his awesome NHL experience.

Hi! I’m Zaza, and I love sports. It was a dream come true watching the Coyotes practice at the Ice Den, followed by fist-bumping the players as they left the rink. I even met the coach — he was so nice!

While watching the ’Yotes’ practice, I discovered that kids’ sports practices aren’t so different from professional sports practices. They warm up, do drills, discuss plays, and scrimmage. It was beyond cool, especially when they scored goals against their teammates.

I interviewed Logan Cooley, Michael Kesselring, and Dylan Guenther — all young and successful players.

I learned these guys are living their dream, having aspired to play professionally since they were kids. Their pregame ritual includes taking a nap and listening to music, and when they win, they celebrate in the locker room and sometimes get a day off from practice. Michael loves chicken parmesan, Dylan is a fan of steak, and Logan enjoys cheeseburgers…just like me!

In elementary school, they all agreed physical education was their favorite subject, though Dylan also mentioned enjoying math. Their hobbies outside of hockey include playing golf and video games. They appreciate working and living in Arizona, especially for the sunshine, as each player grew up in colder climates.

I asked for their advice for kids who aspire to play professional sports. Here’s what they shared:

Logan: “Try your best, work hard, and have fun.”

Michael: “Always bet on yourself. If you really like what you do and you’re passionate about it… keep working at it.”

Dylan: “Your coaches and the people you surround yourself with always know something you don’t, so make sure you’re always listening with an open mind.”

A BIG howling thanks to all the Arizona Coyotes for being so kind to me and becoming my new friends!!! I will treasure this experience forever.

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