There is NO, and I mean NO, loyalty in youth hockey. Mostly driven from the Org's side. Parents are almost, but not quite as bad. Deep down I really think most parents and kids would stay if the product was what was promised and the kid was having fun and developing.
Sadly, the clubs DO NOT feel that way and it's formed a vicious cycle of unhappiness for half the kids out there. It's never going to change.
This is a funny topic because the teams that have loyalty to their players get bashed on here for having tryouts that are "just money makers" and coaches that are "on the friends and family plan." So what do you want? Can't have it both ways.
Loyalty is granted to the best players on the team. Top 10 on the team are usually guaranteed a spot for the next year. Its the way it goes, that every team will always be looking to replace the bottom 5 players. Some years it may be only 1 player, or it maybe be 5 players. Regardless, it isn't about loyalty when a kid gets cut because of their skill level, its because they just don't measure up to the new addition(s) or to the new kids that are replacing them. Yes, I know, there are instances when a parent is friends with the head coach and their kid is on a team because of that. That isn't loyalty but nepotism which is a whole different issue. Face it, your kid played on a team for a few years, didn't improve, maybe got cocky and never thought he/she would be cut, gets cut and bam parents are whining about loyalty. No it isn't that, its just that the kid couldn't make it. Of course there are certain orgs that promise one thing and deliver another...Hello Islanders!
It's the age old dilemma of winning vs fun.At what age is it ok to cut a kid?
What does it say in The Rules?
"There is no loyalty in youth hockey. Team owners / managers / coaches burned that bridge a long time ago. They will cut a kid just because they can and there is no reason why players or parents shouldn’t respond by acting in a similar fashion. It’s all fair in love and youth hockey."
I hate to say it because I'm one of them but parents are worse than most coaches these days. I sit quietly behind the glass and listen to everybody scheming about multiple tryouts and skates with other programs and then telling the coach that the player had a school function or was sick and couldn't make practice. One guy on our team has verbally excepted for next year but most parents know that they are leaving. Only person that doesn't is the coach.
Typically, kids are cut for 2 reasons
1. Kid is in way over his head
You don't see bottom 3-5 kids get cut from a good team and sign somewhere else and light it up.
They usually play in a division where they belong and develop.
The only time you see a better player get cut is when Mom or Dad is constantly
Questioning everything the coach does, sends 3 page emails, follows a coach to the locker after a game or
Just continuously starts rumors for no reason. Your the problem, go bother someone else.
So which kid do you keep? You only cut 1
Player 1 - 25/20 45
Player 2 - 4/12 16
Player 3 - 3/17 20
Player 4 - 15/20 35
I promise we didnt go to tryouts for that other team
Will loyalty be tested on day two of tryouts?
Lots of movement....I like the parents who peel the stickers off of their kids' helmets but then have them show up wearing the former team's practice jersey.
I like when they don't make the new team they tried out for, show up at your tryout thinking the are all set, then you cut them and the end up playing town.
Minot sure about this. I know there were 1-2 players on our team being told they were not guaranteed a spot. First thing, the might be 3rd line players but on a team where the 3rd line isn't noticably below the 1st line in ability. So as Im watching tryouts I am looking at the new kids and while done see at the same ability and 1-2 May be slightly above those 1-2 that are on the block, the are not 1st like be it better so isn't it better to keep the chemistry of the team together than add 1-2 they aren't stand outs? Call me a sap but I do feel bad for those couple and feel like a slight improvement in 1 or 2 3rd line players isnt going to make a big difference in the team
Parents are the worst, way worse than programs. Liars. Sleezy. Back stabbed. FU all!
Screw you buddy. All parents are aweful. I put up with your crappy kids and even took that all teeth BJ from your wife to get the kids on the team in the first place. Buzz off. You ungrateful slob.
How about the package deals? My 05 is great, did I mention i also have an 03 not so great that needs a spot?
Are the same kids keeping with the tradition of switching teams again this year? The record I know of is 8 moving into u14. Next up is 6 in 6 total years of play.
Of course... it could never be that little Johnny isn't very good. Must be the coaches are not developing him, not seeing the potential or playing favorites. So lets jump from program to program until he cracks that elite team roster.
In the meantime these kids are missing out on the best part of hockey. The memories built with your teammates and playing multiple years with kids who become your lifelong friends.
I really wish we could deal with the kids and not parents at eval time because they would make the right decisions !
but again... this isn't about the kids right !
Hey coach, here's the truth: Your kid sucks and he wouldn't be playing if you weren't coaching. Deep down you know it but rather than move him to Town B, you play him top minutes. You drive away your top players because they grow tired of watching your kid and your assistants kids losing the game. They are tired of getting yelled at while you tell your son, "nice effort, nothing you could do on that one." Talent is slim at tryouts so you blame the turnover on the team for your record. "If the parents weren't such jerks and would leave their kids with me, we would have a decent team" you tell the parents who stayed. Here is another truth, it's YOU not the families who left that are to blame. You are the problem but you're too full of yourself to realize it. Your son isn't as good as you were and he's never going to be so stop now and let him find something he can excel at. He doesn't need to chase your dream, he should chase his own. The team, you and your son will be much happier when you figure out what he should be doing and you leave.
Most businesses value their client base and offer all types of member benefits and loyalty discounts. This generally holds true from credit card companies, big retailers down to the local pizza parlor. Youth hockey organizations are different in that they resent their customers. Probably because most hockey organizations are run by ex-players who don't think like business people. They are caught in the moment and don't have a five/ten year vision of where the organization will be
In my experience, you can't have competitive sports without having winners and losers. So no, there is no loyalty, nor should there be. There are lessons to be learned by getting cut, lessons about perseverance, never quitting, trying harder... Even great players have stories of being cut from teams they had their heart set on making. Learning how to overcome adversity is part of why we have our kids play "competitive" sports.
And for what it's worth, I say this as a parent of boys playing select hockey, so our family has been on every side of this coin. We felt the pain of getting cut, the nerves of being "on the bubble," and the sense of pride that comes from being one of the top players guaranteed a spot.
In my experience "loyalty" to one family, in the sense of giving a kid a spot who hasn't earned it with his play, is usually a slap in the face to some other kid, maybe the alternate, who came to everything and worked his butt off all year, but is being kept off the team because the coach is friends with little Jimmy's parents.
If what's most important to you is keeping a group of kids together then enter your kid at a level where they don't keep score, or play house league. The teams won't change so your son/daughter can make and maintain the same friends and just enjoy playing for playing's sake. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you want to foster the kid's competitive side then you need to be prepared for the ups and downs and know that the downs are part of the process.
The only way to keep tryouts on the up and up is to bring in unbiased evaluators. Use High School head and assistant coaches/ skills coaches at the end of their season to come in and evaluate at tryouts or have the coaches evaluate at other levels to avoid conflicts ( obviously not a perfect solution). Once set, leave open a few "wild card" spots so the coach can hand pick a few if necessary. Don't announce coaches until team is picked. That way if his kid is not picked for Elite team than he can coach the team his kid is placed on. You will never, ever make everybody happy, but this might take the bias out. Bias is the issue! You see what you want to see; Boy, what a headsy play, he has intangibles. OR He just tries to do too much himself! Eye of the beholder!!
It's much more about bad businesses with inferior products than loyalty. If you're kid is on a good team with a good coach and playing for an organization that focuses on player and skill development you will not see significant turnover. Generally kids who are good enough to make a decent/good club team are coachable and athletic. If they are in a good development environment they will grow and improve as players every year. Sure, there will be the odd player here and there that struggles as their peers get bigger or that doesn't have the aggression needed or that has difficult parents - so a player will get cut every now and then but 12-15 kids will be offered a spot again every year. If a team is constantly recruiting players from outside their organization because they are better than the players inside the organization it is because they do not develop players they recruit them. It is a bad product. Parents share the blame too. Why do parents leave the team that was responsible for providing their player with the environment to develop and improve to the point that they can go out and make one of these recruiting based teams? Maybe it's a club that has a name that they are proud of, maybe the kid that they have always thought was a stud plays for that team, maybe the commute is shorter... Whatever the reason, the environment and system that allowed their player to develop is being undervalued by the parents. Long story short - if a club doesn't display loyalty they are advertising that they don't develop their players and you shouldn't want your player there anyway.