The Official New England Ice Hockey DBoard
Click Here to Visit Our Facebook Page
Former NHL star Ray Ferraro was asked to talk to parents of a hockey club that was going through a tough time, with parent expectations at an all-time high.
This is what Ferraro told the parents.
– Minor hockey is out of control in terms of Parents chasing the dream for their kids instead of kids deciding on their own how passionate they are for it and how bad they want it.
– In the last 10 years only 21 kids who either pla*** at NSWC or BWC have appeared in at least ONE NHL regular season game. Point is if your banking on your son collecting an NHL pay cheque to solidify his and yours financial ***ure you seriously need to stop and come up with a new plan and now.
– The odds of going pro are extremely low but the odds of having to find a career and a job to pay bills and be a husband and father are extremely high and it’s not dictated by if you pla*** AAA hockey
– Parents need to enjoy the ride while you have it … your son’s minor hockey days end too quickly and often times people end up regretting what they did not know then and what they ending up missing because they were focused on everything but their kid having fun
– As a parent who devotes time and money to your son, the only right you have to ask is they give it their best … not how much ice time they get, if they play on the PP, who is their winger or D partner
– Don’t pay for power skating, dryland training, skill development and expect your son to score 50 goals, if you decide to invest in extras do it because your son asked for it and wants to improve and has a smile on his face each and every time … too many parents decide what they want their kids to do instead of their kids asking to do it.
– 12 month hockey is wrong … organized skills sessions, tryouts, spring hockey is too much and too taxing … kids can shoot pucks, stick handle, play street hockey but they need out of the mental insanity of a hockey rink and need to be engaged in something other than hockey … the time away reinforces the passion to want it
– Coaches are coaches we all know the game and think this should be done a certain way … how come we never tell our kids math teacher how to teach calculus but we think as parents we have the right to tell a hockey coach how much ice time and with whom and when our kids should play.
– When you evaluate your kids season, never base it on how many banners they won, what provincial they won, what tourneys they went to and won … ask yourself what improved from September to April, what did he learn or improve upon including non-hockey stuff … evaluate the season besides wins and losses but gains and improvements. Just let them play, learn and develop. Pressure is high enough, no need to make it worse.
Speaking on the ‘Cam and Strick Podcast’, he reveals he one time gave the worst pre-game speech ever – just by telling the truth.
“My dad has a youth hockey tournament every year in my hometown, he goes to the arena on December 26th from 8 in the morning until 9 at night for four straight days. And a couple years ago I went home, and he wasn’t feeling great, so I told him: ‘Look, stay here, I’ll go over to the arena for a few hours for you’.”
“So I went over and I got there and one of the coaches just said: ‘Hey, listen, I got an 8 year old team, can you go and talk to my boys before the game?’. I told him: ’You know what? I’m the wrong guy”. He said: ‘No, no, come in and say whatever you want to say for a few words’. I said to the guy again: ’Look, I’m not kidding you, I’m telling you I’m the wrong guy for that’. But he insisted.
So Gretzky did as he was told, and told the kids to simply enjoy the game.
”I walked in to the locker room, said hello to the boys, and then said: ’Now remember, you’re 8 years old, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. it’s how many goals you get’. The coach just looked at me like he was gonna have a heart attack! I said to him: ’I told you I was the wrong guy for this job’.”
”That’s what I feel about kids hockey and kids sport. Just go out and have fun, just go play. If you win or lose doesn’t matter when you’re 8 years old. You’re not gonna remember it when you get older, it’s all about having fun, getting better and enjoying the game. That’s how I’ve always looked at it.”
Again…I feel like I’m arguing against the entire well intentioned Great Lakes family. I’m sure you skate on rainbows with unicorn helmets at home. The initial rant was a comment on tryouts and no promises. I would encourage you to get real if you are a new coach or parent In New England high level hockey, contracts go out in two weeks. Like it or not, you have to play ball.
And I believe that most high level teams want to compete, but your player needed to be skating with a team or exposed a month ago, minimum. a reserve situation is better, or move back to the Great Lakes. There are no borders or boundaries in M*** hockey and only way for you to be competing is to hand out contacts ahead of tryouts. Right or wrong. Thanks for understanding coach. Good luck!
Arricles about Gretzky and talk about developing doesn’t really matter and are not relevant to this issue. Unless you play remote town b hockey, then this may be a feasible plan. Otherwise it’s I’ll advises.
Wondering what age and level you coach at that you feel this way?