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So true. Post youth & high school hockey is not for the faint of heart. It's all up to the player and the coaching staff. Sometimes it's politics; sometimes it's age; sometime's it's just how a coach views a player; sometimes your kid isn't as good as he was. Prior to prep school, the lines rolled for the most part. Your kid got playing time and had fun with his friends. Now, it feels more like a college program and development seems to have gone by the wayside. If your kid can handle the uncertainty -- then stay the course. As a parent, it's tough to watch and experience. Outside of the top six F or four D -- there is a lot of questioning and angst. All the kids AND parents below that line level feel this on regular basis. I hope it gets easier. I suspect it won't.
Once high school starts, your job is to cheer, write checks, and provide transportation until they can drive themselves. Your player has to find his own role on the team and be the best at it. My oldest went to a powerhouse prep, was stuck behind a bunch of commits so he focused on faceoffs and pks.. ended up 10th on the team in points, high face off win % and good Pk player. Went to JR and became a top 6 player, got his commitment and is graduating this year. Find a role and be the best, every ncaa team needs role players and they give very good scholarship packages for them!
I'm just waiting for final news on what prep school my son will go too.. can't wait to just pay the bill watch him play the closest thing to proper hockey. At a rink with few local families and a coach with a long and influential hockey stick. Had enough of this stupidity. Told my son's top choice for Prep coaching this. Hope he can see our passion and clarity.
Good post. I think one thing most parents say they understand, but dont really until it bites them, is how many players there are to choose from at their age level. Its global now with kids even competing with imports.
Years ago my son used to dominate his age level, but it became very clear around his teen draft age that nationwide he was just another one of the very good, but not top players for his birth year.
It was hard to accept that at first and I said the same things to myself you mentioned. Its a lesson for all parents to expect less and just enjoy the moments you do get.
It's funny, three of my four boys have aged out of hockey, each reaching their own various levels of success, just my youngest one left, a freshman in high school. I can't even begin the fathom all the games and practices I've attended in the past 20 years but I don't miss those much. I miss the car rides, the stupid and serious conversations I've had with all of them, while gaining a better understanding of who they are as the moved towards adulthood. I learned many years ago, high school, prep, and Junior coaches have there reasons for what they do, who they look for, etc. and getting wrapped up in it at this point just creates a ton of useless anxiety. You're still a Hockey Dad, you've earned that title just how you use that title has changed.
Last bit of advice, don't miss games, just enjoy them.
THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^ Clear understanding of what it's all about
Fairly consistent minutes at a prep school is pretty high level man. Where’s you see him going? Hockey parents are psycho. Purposely not watching your kid play because he’s not on the PP for whatever reason is really bad parenting. Although I have a feeling he’s psyched you’re not there. So it’s probably working out for everyone.
You are right, I am admitting I am the problem/crazy. I also agree that and hope that any current struggles he is having will most likely improve without him hoping I am pleased with how he did or anxious about any feedback. I was being as honest as possible in the feelings going through my head as I watch a game. There are tons of kids who will never get the oportunity my son has and there have also been a couple of big eye openers this year with some very serious accidents on the ice. you want the best for your kid but you cant force it and it can feel like you are failing them when you see crazy amount of comitments and other hype around. I truly appreciate all the feedback, there was lots of good stuff in the comments. Good or bad, I am totally fine with it.