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Many of the kids playing “AAA/Elite” 12 months a year will wake up one day at 15 and realizing they didn’t develop and genetics are against them, so playing hockey seems like doing chores or eating veggies. The Over the Top crazy parents will need to sleep with 1eye open when their cherished duster ends up a rebellious teen hitting the pipe.
We have a different vision of our “AAA” player. Our guy had a rough patch as a toddler. Call it what you may, terrible 2’s/3’/4’s/5’s, well you get the picture, it was awful!. Then, along came sports, in particular hockey. He played BB, baseball, flag etc. but it was obvious his overactive mind and temperament were more in tune with hockey. As he moved up in age and was subjected to quality coaches, instructors and mature kids, the terribles disappeared. Maybe it’s just our guys experience but the hockey environment has matured him. He is as well adjusted as a pre-teen can be and loves his coaches and teammates, which have become his friends. So when he wants to lace them up this spring/summer to be with his network of friends, I will drive him anywhere, at any time.
Will he make the NHL, no, but neither do I see him laying on the couch at 15 smoking the pipe as you put it, just because he wants to Be in an environment he loves.