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It does get a little crazy!!
I would hang up the skates and play Baseball, Lax , Tennis, etc. Some off ice training is important in the offseason. After 2-3 months away from skating, dust em off and skate 1-3 times a week just to work on things. I don't think there is anything wrong with working on your game ( no matter what your game is) in the offseason. Actually, haven't we all been taught to put that extra work in when nobody else is??
The problem is that Hockey at this level becomes an "Arms Race" where everybody is afraid of being left behind. For many , the idea of investing so much time , money and dreams into something ( for the past 10 years) and missing out when you are so close to the finish line is demoralizing!
At the end of the day focus on the journey and not the destination and things will turnout the way that they were meant to. Then again, I have to remind myself of this every day.
Hanging up the skates over the summer equals a kid being cut or not playing during the regular season. Sorry. It's how it works. A kid stretching his legs once a week or at a camp is not "burning" the kid out. If he doesn't have the love for it to keep it going once a week then save your money. Has no future.
^^^^^ your a quack. Let me know how excited your kid is when the season starts. Pros take a few months off, Jrs. Take a few months off, Youth need time off also.. It's ok, they don't forget how to stick handle or skate or check..the need time to heal from a long season and more importantly they will be more excited to get back at it come late August.
Every season needs a beginning or end. Most athletes will become better athletes by playing two or three seasons of sports. With Hockey, you really need to give up your fall sport though. After seven months you need to give your body ( and mind) a rest. Take at least a month or two off! You are not going to fall short of your potential by taking a break. That being said, if the kid wants to skate, let him skate! Summer skills are Absolutely essential to work on your game and give you an opportunity to focus on skills and MAYBE play in a tournament or two. Above all it shows commitment and helps build confidence.
It has been said so often; really depends on the individual and what their goals are.