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I asked my kid every year where he wanted to play or if he wanted to skate with another team after being asked to every year to play for different teams. It was up to him every year. Stayed with same program all through youth, went to another program for one year after youth.
Did the same thing with prep schools and junior teams. It was always up to him. Don’t regret a single decision he made except for not leaving for prep a year earlier.
My guess is parents "influence" more than "dictate". My 14yo has been with same program since 9yo but I've seen firsthand parents that tell their kids they are better than their teammates, team is not good enough, coach isn't good enough for their kid, etc. Kid hears this and they start to believe they need to move teams. It's too bad. I get that parents get unhappy with results, but I would suggest parents just staying out of it unless they absolutely need to.
I coached a peewee team and a dad came up to me with his kid and said he was pulling his kid for a better team. The kid was sitting there next to us crying and he didn't care.
I always made the decision for my son. He quit. My bad. Let your kids play with friends.
We have couple kids leaving because their parents think we are not a “real” elite team. So I guess the team is fake because we are middle of the standings. Youth hockey teams now getting titles of real and fake lol. Great time of year.