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Truth be told, I question some of the things I did at mites and squirts. Luckily he continued to love practicing and playing the game, so I made some adjustments at peewee and a few years later he's even more focused on getting ready for high school hockey next year.
If I had a second go around (he's my only player), I would do fewer spring/summer tournaments and more small group skills and skating work during the off-season. Once I found an instructor that my son liked to work with, that actually cared about my son's individual success and trajectory, the improvement was remarkable. And once I found a winter season coach that taught the game and didn't get caught up in rankings, it became clear that chasing wins and losses was an inferior strategy for development.
Bottom line, it's easy to get caught up in it, especially if your son is one of the better players at age 7.
If you are "pushing your kid" - at ANY age - you are one of "those parents." Stop. Let his passion develop on its own. It will. Or it won't.
Then the answer to your question is simple - because you are helping him to pursue HIS goals, just like any other good parent would do.
I agree with letting the kid make the call as much as possible. My 09 will play his first year in Fed elite next year. He let us know last year that he wanted to be on the ice as much as possible. Didn't want to continue with soccer. Only wanted to play lacrosse in the Spring but with the understanding that a CCM or Blue Chip tourney or hockey skills comes first. Part of that was the carrot being dangled in that he knew kids that had gone from town to Fed. Part of it was him just wanting to be a hockey player. My 11 tags along as much as he wants. But he also wants to play soccer and have play dates and be on the video games. So we keep him playing town hockey, and if he ever decides that he wants to move up, we make a change.
The “pushing” stuff usually comes from one or two types of parents;
1) older players who never could make the “leap” from a development standpoint and they are coming to terms with it, so it’s a defense mechanism for their bender spending the summer getting even worse by bumming around smoking weed or playing video games
2) parents who pushed too hard and had the moment of clarity when the kid burned out because they were living vicariously through the kid and now they have guilt and regret
Some actually understand the balance and enable and support a kid who loves to play, understanding our role in the process...sorry I’m a balanced normal person and you are not, and sorry my kid loves the game
Of course it's me that makes that decision. My kid is going from town to elite hockey. If he wants to go that route, he's not going in unprepared....especially in his first year where the transition is hard. My point is that if you have a kid who wants to focus on hockey at the expense of other activities, you have to go after that. One of my kids does. The other doesn't.
I do it because I like the rink food.
Because it's a heck of a lot of fun not only for the kids, parents and families. The journey from LTS to current level has been amazing and a blessing for the whole family. Those who have played at any level know what an amazing sport it is. Very similar to Golf you can play this game for a lifetime. I push my kids as I want them to achive the highest level of success in whatever they do. I push them to play as much as possible unlike other sports Hockey has so many areas to work on and rewards you with very tangible improvement quickly.
I do it to coach....because there are some moms who really want their kid on my team
That is as good as it gets for some dealing with a has been coach trying to relive his glory days. funny hockey is full of those types more than any other sport.
Beleive me, if the kid is even a marginal athlete ditch hockey for lacrosse. 50 man rosters, D-1 teams springing up all over the country, cheaper than hockey, no two years of juniors only to report to his college team at the age of 21. . . This game is a dead-end sport for 98% of the kids.
I have obsereved the most disturbing behavior exhibited by young kids this year in our hockey circuit. I have witnessed 7-8 year old kids punching and spitting at there parents ,other team mates, and coaches. Fist fighting in the locker room while the parent of the agressor observes and lets it happen at the same time the kids parent who is on the short end is not in attendance only validates that the parents are demented. I have seen public on ice meltdowns and coach attacks by kids. When you push a child real hard into something you percieve they like and the kid does not have the wherewithal or emotional interlect to communicate back to the parent you get pandoras box as a constellation prize. I would think that some of these demented parents beat there kids physically and or emotionally when they do not perform well in a game. I have to say that some of these kids play well but if you played a sport for Kim Jong-UN you know you will have to do well or he will kill you! Its only a matter of time before a kid blows a circuit and circles back in a real negative way on a parent!
Parents are the problem! There is a dad on the south shore who used to play college hockey, and he is the creepiest dad. I believe he is coaching town hockey cause his son got cut. He actually got a penalty report of a competing child and sent it to a hockey organization to prevent a kid from making a team. How he got the kids information is creepy and that he would take such action is insane! Creepy, gross and insane!
what a DB