A lot of kids go through periods where they will slack off when it comes to sports, homework, family chores, etc. You are pretty much obligated to point this out and get them on track. Saying nothing breeds bad habits that can affect their overall quality of life and potentially mess up their future.
It's when a kid no longer has the desire or drive for an activity that you have to tread very carefully. If you think your kid might be just playing hockey to please you he probably is and lecturing or berating him will go very badly. It's probably the hardest thing for a parent to admit their kid doesn't want to play anymore but it happens to many and the best thing you can do is support them and find something positive to fill the void.
I wonder how much angrier you are in person
is it better to be feared or loved?
Let's be real here, many early Baby Boomer parents (say up to 1980'ish) were terrible parents by humain standards. The had no idea how to raise kids and many had to actually fend for themselves on a daily basis. Yes the were good workers but they ate too much, drank too much and could care less about what their kids were up to.
The current problem is the off-spring of these parents have over-shot it the other direction. An overcompensation of involvement, interest and spending on the little angels.
Is it wrong? Time will tell. Is it hard to witness? Yes.