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Re: The State of Hockey

We had a boy leave last year. He was a nice kid, good player, and had a good family. We are a middle of the road elite team. Nothing special record wise. Dad got a little to wrapped up in the "scene" and listened to the wrong people and jumped. Fast forward a year later- not happy, kid misses friends, more wins but at a price. Turns out all the same type "a"'s are attracted to the same thing. Parents don't like each other and worse they all are jealous backstabbers who don't trust anyone. Played against him all year and guess what? The kid is still good just like before. Totally unnecessary.

Re: The State of Hockey

anon
We had a boy leave last year. He was a nice kid, good player, and had a good family. We are a middle of the road elite team. Nothing special record wise. Dad got a little to wrapped up in the "scene" and listened to the wrong people and jumped. Fast forward a year later- not happy, kid misses friends, more wins but at a price. Turns out all the same type "a"'s are attracted to the same thing. Parents don't like each other and worse they all are jealous backstabbers who don't trust anyone. Played against him all year and guess what? The kid is still good just like before. Totally unnecessary.
Your post should be required reading for every parent considering moving programs.

Re: The State of Hockey

This is such a great thread and really a good topic for all of us. I would like to share my story to see if it helps put some people at ease.

I coached college soccer for 10 years at the Division 1 level. I had over a dozen of my players over the years play (or currently) in MLS and Europe and a few of those played for the National Team. Each of those kids had a completely different background and way of getting there.

I got into hockey because of my son. He focused equally on both until 3 years ago when he said he wanted to play hockey full time. Being a soccer guy we didn't know all the different hockey leagues or where to go. Everytime we talked to someone it was like being on the dboard. Everyone sucks, this program this, this program that..it was all very confusing. We joined a program and he moved from the third team to the second team to the top team. We didn't tryout for other programs because his coach is focused on development and improvement and works with us year round.

One of my good friends is a Division I Head Hockey coach at a Hockey East School.We were assistants together back in the day so we've always kept in touch. I called him and told him about the dilemma I had and how confusing it was for me and other families "who aren't in the mix" at the EHF and E9 programs. (Ironically, it turns out my neighbor is going to play for him on a full ride). I told him about my son who was a late comer to elite hockey and if the train has passed him by (he's a 2002). He told me a story about a kid who he found while he was recruiting a different kid. The kid had no pedigree (he played for a small local club somewhere) and was a guest player on a tournament team but he stood out, and they ended up recruiting him. He said his roster was littered with kids who came from big programs, small programs, different parts of the country and that there was no formula of getting there except for ability and being able to play at the appropriate level. How they get there doesn't matter.

We talked about when I was recruiting for soccer it was the same thing. Different backgrounds, etc. It was refreshing because I had forgotten it a little and was starting to wonder what this hockey thing is all about.

The truth is for all parents out there trying to help their kid.
- Make sure it's for them and not you
- Make sure they love the game
- It's not the program or where you come from, it's what you do with your talent
and lastly, and most importantly, will your kid put in the work because they want to or do it because you want them to

I saw so many kids over my years be superstars from age 13, 14, 15 only to flame out by 16 or 17. I kind of forgot that. I'm glad I talked to my friend because he reminded me of what I knew when I was coaching elite and professional athletes. When it's your own kid, you tend to forget.

So my advice to the "jumpers"--make sure you do it for the right reasons because if you jump too much word gets out (college coaches know) and also you want to give your kid time to develop under a coach and that takes time. For those of us (and there are many) who don't have kids in the EHF, E9, etc..it's ok...help your kid develop and then when the college recruiting process starts, get your name out there because if he can play, they will take you.

Ultimately the solace for most of us is that our kids may (or may not) end up playing college hockey, a few might get to the ECHL, AHL, or Europe and one or two in the NHL..after that..it's late nights at 10pm with their friends in the beer league...a dboard poster put that out there a few months ago and I thought it was funny.."ALL ROADS END THE BEER LEAGUE."

Sorry for the long post.

Re: The State of Hockey

Former College Coach Turned Hockey Dad
This is such a great thread and really a good topic for all of us. I would like to share my story to see if it helps put some people at ease.

I coached college soccer for 10 years at the Division 1 level. I had over a dozen of my players over the years play (or currently) in MLS and Europe and a few of those played for the National Team. Each of those kids had a completely different background and way of getting there.

I got into hockey because of my son. He focused equally on both until 3 years ago when he said he wanted to play hockey full time. Being a soccer guy we didn't know all the different hockey leagues or where to go. Everytime we talked to someone it was like being on the dboard. Everyone sucks, this program this, this program that..it was all very confusing. We joined a program and he moved from the third team to the second team to the top team. We didn't tryout for other programs because his coach is focused on development and improvement and works with us year round.

One of my good friends is a Division I Head Hockey coach at a Hockey East School.We were assistants together back in the day so we've always kept in touch. I called him and told him about the dilemma I had and how confusing it was for me and other families "who aren't in the mix" at the EHF and E9 programs. (Ironically, it turns out my neighbor is going to play for him on a full ride). I told him about my son who was a late comer to elite hockey and if the train has passed him by (he's a 2002). He told me a story about a kid who he found while he was recruiting a different kid. The kid had no pedigree (he played for a small local club somewhere) and was a guest player on a tournament team but he stood out, and they ended up recruiting him. He said his roster was littered with kids who came from big programs, small programs, different parts of the country and that there was no formula of getting there except for ability and being able to play at the appropriate level. How they get there doesn't matter.

We talked about when I was recruiting for soccer it was the same thing. Different backgrounds, etc. It was refreshing because I had forgotten it a little and was starting to wonder what this hockey thing is all about.

The truth is for all parents out there trying to help their kid.
- Make sure it's for them and not you
- Make sure they love the game
- It's not the program or where you come from, it's what you do with your talent
and lastly, and most importantly, will your kid put in the work because they want to or do it because you want them to

I saw so many kids over my years be superstars from age 13, 14, 15 only to flame out by 16 or 17. I kind of forgot that. I'm glad I talked to my friend because he reminded me of what I knew when I was coaching elite and professional athletes. When it's your own kid, you tend to forget.

So my advice to the "jumpers"--make sure you do it for the right reasons because if you jump too much word gets out (college coaches know) and also you want to give your kid time to develop under a coach and that takes time. For those of us (and there are many) who don't have kids in the EHF, E9, etc..it's ok...help your kid develop and then when the college recruiting process starts, get your name out there because if he can play, they will take you.

Ultimately the solace for most of us is that our kids may (or may not) end up playing college hockey, a few might get to the ECHL, AHL, or Europe and one or two in the NHL..after that..it's late nights at 10pm with their friends in the beer league...a dboard poster put that out there a few months ago and I thought it was funny.."ALL ROADS END THE BEER LEAGUE."

Sorry for the long post.



Well said DF!

Re: The State of Hockey

GM
Former College Coach Turned Hockey Dad
This is such a great thread and really a good topic for all of us. I would like to share my story to see if it helps put some people at ease.

I coached college soccer for 10 years at the Division 1 level. I had over a dozen of my players over the years play (or currently) in MLS and Europe and a few of those played for the National Team. Each of those kids had a completely different background and way of getting there.

I got into hockey because of my son. He focused equally on both until 3 years ago when he said he wanted to play hockey full time. Being a soccer guy we didn't know all the different hockey leagues or where to go. Everytime we talked to someone it was like being on the dboard. Everyone sucks, this program this, this program that..it was all very confusing. We joined a program and he moved from the third team to the second team to the top team. We didn't tryout for other programs because his coach is focused on development and improvement and works with us year round.

One of my good friends is a Division I Head Hockey coach at a Hockey East School.We were assistants together back in the day so we've always kept in touch. I called him and told him about the dilemma I had and how confusing it was for me and other families "who aren't in the mix" at the EHF and E9 programs. (Ironically, it turns out my neighbor is going to play for him on a full ride). I told him about my son who was a late comer to elite hockey and if the train has passed him by (he's a 2002). He told me a story about a kid who he found while he was recruiting a different kid. The kid had no pedigree (he played for a small local club somewhere) and was a guest player on a tournament team but he stood out, and they ended up recruiting him. He said his roster was littered with kids who came from big programs, small programs, different parts of the country and that there was no formula of getting there except for ability and being able to play at the appropriate level. How they get there doesn't matter.

We talked about when I was recruiting for soccer it was the same thing. Different backgrounds, etc. It was refreshing because I had forgotten it a little and was starting to wonder what this hockey thing is all about.

The truth is for all parents out there trying to help their kid.
- Make sure it's for them and not you
- Make sure they love the game
- It's not the program or where you come from, it's what you do with your talent
and lastly, and most importantly, will your kid put in the work because they want to or do it because you want them to

I saw so many kids over my years be superstars from age 13, 14, 15 only to flame out by 16 or 17. I kind of forgot that. I'm glad I talked to my friend because he reminded me of what I knew when I was coaching elite and professional athletes. When it's your own kid, you tend to forget.

So my advice to the "jumpers"--make sure you do it for the right reasons because if you jump too much word gets out (college coaches know) and also you want to give your kid time to develop under a coach and that takes time. For those of us (and there are many) who don't have kids in the EHF, E9, etc..it's ok...help your kid develop and then when the college recruiting process starts, get your name out there because if he can play, they will take you.

Ultimately the solace for most of us is that our kids may (or may not) end up playing college hockey, a few might get to the ECHL, AHL, or Europe and one or two in the NHL..after that..it's late nights at 10pm with their friends in the beer league...a dboard poster put that out there a few months ago and I thought it was funny.."ALL ROADS END THE BEER LEAGUE."

Sorry for the long post.


Moving has zero impact on any of this.....


Well said DF!

Re: The State of Hockey

Former College Coach Turned Hockey Dad
This is such a great thread and really a good topic for all of us. I would like to share my story to see if it helps put some people at ease.

I coached college soccer for 10 years at the Division 1 level. I had over a dozen of my players over the years play (or currently) in MLS and Europe and a few of those played for the National Team. Each of those kids had a completely different background and way of getting there.

I got into hockey because of my son. He focused equally on both until 3 years ago when he said he wanted to play hockey full time. Being a soccer guy we didn't know all the different hockey leagues or where to go. Everytime we talked to someone it was like being on the dboard. Everyone sucks, this program this, this program that..it was all very confusing. We joined a program and he moved from the third team to the second team to the top team. We didn't tryout for other programs because his coach is focused on development and improvement and works with us year round.

One of my good friends is a Division I Head Hockey coach at a Hockey East School.We were assistants together back in the day so we've always kept in touch. I called him and told him about the dilemma I had and how confusing it was for me and other families "who aren't in the mix" at the EHF and E9 programs. (Ironically, it turns out my neighbor is going to play for him on a full ride). I told him about my son who was a late comer to elite hockey and if the train has passed him by (he's a 2002). He told me a story about a kid who he found while he was recruiting a different kid. The kid had no pedigree (he played for a small local club somewhere) and was a guest player on a tournament team but he stood out, and they ended up recruiting him. He said his roster was littered with kids who came from big programs, small programs, different parts of the country and that there was no formula of getting there except for ability and being able to play at the appropriate level. How they get there doesn't matter.

We talked about when I was recruiting for soccer it was the same thing. Different backgrounds, etc. It was refreshing because I had forgotten it a little and was starting to wonder what this hockey thing is all about.

The truth is for all parents out there trying to help their kid.
- Make sure it's for them and not you
- Make sure they love the game
- It's not the program or where you come from, it's what you do with your talent
and lastly, and most importantly, will your kid put in the work because they want to or do it because you want them to

I saw so many kids over my years be superstars from age 13, 14, 15 only to flame out by 16 or 17. I kind of forgot that. I'm glad I talked to my friend because he reminded me of what I knew when I was coaching elite and professional athletes. When it's your own kid, you tend to forget.

So my advice to the "jumpers"--make sure you do it for the right reasons because if you jump too much word gets out (college coaches know) and also you want to give your kid time to develop under a coach and that takes time. For those of us (and there are many) who don't have kids in the EHF, E9, etc..it's ok...help your kid develop and then when the college recruiting process starts, get your name out there because if he can play, they will take you.

Ultimately the solace for most of us is that our kids may (or may not) end up playing college hockey, a few might get to the ECHL, AHL, or Europe and one or two in the NHL..after that..it's late nights at 10pm with their friends in the beer league...a dboard poster put that out there a few months ago and I thought it was funny.."ALL ROADS END THE BEER LEAGUE."


Sorry? Thank you for taking the time to share! Great stuff!!
Sorry for the long post.

Re: The State of Hockey

I beleive the current dilemma is covered in the middle section here -


Don’t ever believe a team owner, manager or coach when they tell you your kid is “all set” for next season and is on the team until the contract is signed. They are liars, darn liars and hockey team owners / managers / coaches.


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.


Parents, once you have done your homework and made your choice, hand him over and accept your role. You are a wallet, a taxi, a cheerleader, and a keeper of the gear.

Re: The State of Hockey

["...
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.


Parents, once you have done your homework and made your choice, hand him over and accept your role. You are a wallet, a taxi, a cheerleader, and a keeper of the gear."]

if anyone really believes this (other than the cheerleader part), it is more a depressing commentary on society today than anything else. You need to step back and reevaluate your priorities in life, not just surrounding youth hockey.

if you are with an organization that does not care for you and your child, you are not in the right place. That does not refer to an organization having to pick your kid for the top team... not all kids benefit the most from being on a top team. Hockey is not just for the best of the best, it is a life lesson for any and all kids who play. The house league players are no less important than the "elite" players in the grand scheme of things. Anyone who tells you differently has the wrong motives at heart.

Parents should never just be a wallet and a taxi... get involved and be a part of your kids experience, your kid will be better off for it. Not negatively with complaints and rumor stirring, but by showing your kids respect for their coaches and teammates, giving support and praise of all the kids and the hard working people who are involved with the organization, and by contributing positively to the youth hockey community that you have chosen to participate in.

the real issue is the constant need for people in today's society to one-up the guy next in line. why does it always need to be a "you or me" scenario? Aren't our kids far better off when we turn it into an "us" atmosphere? Some might call that soft, but I have never seen a successful team full of individual players at any level. teams win games and a team mentality goes much further towards providing your children with lessons and development that they benefit most from in the short and long term, both on and off the ice.

Re: The State of Hockey

anon

if anyone really believes this (other than the cheerleader part), it is more a depressing commentary on society today than anything else. You need to step back and reevaluate your priorities in life, not just surrounding youth hockey.

if you are with an organization that does not care for you and your child, you are not in the right place. That does not refer to an organization having to pick your kid for the top team... not all kids benefit the most from being on a top team. Hockey is not just for the best of the best, it is a life lesson for any and all kids who play. The house league players are no less important than the "elite" players in the grand scheme of things. Anyone who tells you differently has the wrong motives at heart.

Parents should never just be a wallet and a taxi... get involved and be a part of your kids experience, your kid will be better off for it. Not negatively with complaints and rumor stirring, but by showing your kids respect for their coaches and teammates, giving support and praise of all the kids and the hard working people who are involved with the organization, and by contributing positively to the youth hockey community that you have chosen to participate in.

the real issue is the constant need for people in today's society to one-up the guy next in line. why does it always need to be a "you or me" scenario? Aren't our kids far better off when we turn it into an "us" atmosphere? Some might call that soft, but I have never seen a successful team full of individual players at any level. teams win games and a team mentality goes much further towards providing your children with lessons and development that they benefit most from in the short and long term, both on and off the ice.

I don't think he meant *not* to do the things you describe in your post. I think the point is, don't get involved in the team gossip, don't undermine the coaches, and don't embarrass your kid by screaming and waving at him during games. Drop him off at the rink, let him do his thing, show up for games and root for him and the team. Afterwards, ask him if he had fun, or maybe how he thinks the team played. Let the kids be kids and let the coaches be coaches.

Re: The State of Hockey

"Parents should never just be a wallet and a taxi... get involved and be a part of your kids experience, your kid will be better off for it."

Ohhhhh, boy. The ghost of Cap A shining through.

Re: The State of Hockey

anon
what ever happened to the days of commitment and loyalty to an organization, coach, and teammates? All I see and hear in today's world of youth hockey is about this player jumping to this team and that player jumping to that team... about bragging that their kid is "ELITE"... and about what league little johhny plays for....

Maybe I am old school.... but when I played youth hockey, I made friends for life, my parents made friends for life, and the organization was a big family. Sure, there were squabbles internal to each family, but at the end of the day it was still a family. Kids took pride in the uniform they were wearing and played their hearts out for the kids on the ice next to them.

It is a sad day when that is gone from the youth hockey experience.... don't people realize that the togetherness and life lessons that the kids experience, are what playing hockey is all about? With 1 in 1,000 kids who play actually getting to play beyond high school, and 1 in 18,000 actually playing as high as D1, why are so many parents blinded by status and by chasing the dream at the U7 to U13 age levels? Find me a College coach who cares what team a kid played for at 10, and I'll show you a failing college coach.

Let the kids dream.... they are the ones that should be pretending to be Gretzky scoring the overtime Stanley Cup winner in the driveway. Parents need to wake up and get a grip on reality. Wake up nut jobs.... if your kid was that good, and driven to succeed, it wouldn't matter where he played or who he played for... they will get far more out of being a part of a hockey community, then they will out of being able to say that they played EHF/E9/etc....

vent over!



Two words that simply ruined youth hockey:

Adults (both coaches & parents)

Money

Re: The State of Hockey

anon
anon
what ever happened to the days of commitment and loyalty to an organization, coach, and teammates? All I see and hear in today's world of youth hockey is about this player jumping to this team and that player jumping to that team... about bragging that their kid is "ELITE"... and about what league little johhny plays for....

Maybe I am old school.... but when I played youth hockey, I made friends for life, my parents made friends for life, and the organization was a big family. Sure, there were squabbles internal to each family, but at the end of the day it was still a family. Kids took pride in the uniform they were wearing and played their hearts out for the kids on the ice next to them.

It is a sad day when that is gone from the youth hockey experience.... don't people realize that the togetherness and life lessons that the kids experience, are what playing hockey is all about? With 1 in 1,000 kids who play actually getting to play beyond high school, and 1 in 18,000 actually playing as high as D1, why are so many parents blinded by status and by chasing the dream at the U7 to U13 age levels? Find me a College coach who cares what team a kid played for at 10, and I'll show you a failing college coach.

Let the kids dream.... they are the ones that should be pretending to be Gretzky scoring the overtime Stanley Cup winner in the driveway. Parents need to wake up and get a grip on reality. Wake up nut jobs.... if your kid was that good, and driven to succeed, it wouldn't matter where he played or who he played for... they will get far more out of being a part of a hockey community, then they will out of being able to say that they played EHF/E9/etc....

vent over!



Two words that simply ruined youth hockey:

Adults (both coaches & parents)

Money

Re: The State of Hockey

Some great posts however there are a lot of situations out there where coaches kids are terrible, only there because it's a good old boy network or friends and family and a players growth is stunted staying. I am an assistant coach on a team and we are considering leaving. Why? The head coache is only in it for his kid and our other assistant coaches kids are the bottom two players on the team. One of the assistant coach's kid is a total mental case and drags the team down. Stupid penalties coupled with no skill.

I agree with the previous posters however at some point decoupling from programs that let subpar players stay is not good for your kid. The trick is finding a good team that has good skilled players who are also good teammates and have normal parents.

Re: The State of Hockey

Where's the guy with "The Rules," he can set you all straight

Re: The State of Hockey

What ever happened to the days of...

It's a great question and fun to romanticize about it, but I'm sure we all know the answer. Most of us don't want to admit it. Some just lack the intelligence to understand it. Others are incapable of clearing a path to see the truth.

We all grew up and failed. Maybe not in our careers as professionals, but our dreams. Our 10 y/o self didn't want to be a stock broker or a manager at Pet Smart, we wanted to play a sport. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way. I'm not talking about a cup of coffee in a minor affiliate, I mean the show. Pretty sure that Mr. Neely isn't coming on the dboard. Even if it is hysterical.

Now with all of our experience, all of our knowledge, we know how to create a success story. We can build a winner. We can learn from our failures and pass it on to our kids. Surely, they won't make the same mistakes we did. They'll work harder, get more instruction and training,the list goes on, right?

What happened to the days of...well, we did.

Re: The State of Hockey

Great post from OP and all the other positive replies.

It has to be about fun and friendship. Parents treat their kids like free agents jumping to the next green pasture. If the skills and coaching is good just let them play.