Coach: they are kids, not picks

As parents we want the best for our children: We want them to succeed in school, be successful in sport, have a great social life, get a great job and earn decent money.This is normal.

As parents we want to raise healthy, fit  and stong children. This is normal too.

As parents, we want to protect our children and have fun during their activities. We would like to save them from frustrations and disappointment. This is normal too.

As parents we want it all!…and this is normal

That’s why as parents we watch our son’s homework, cook healthy food (or we try) and signed him up for few activities. We signed him for hockey because we feel it combines fun, social life and good exercise.

How does hockey work?

All the kids go though tryout and scrimmage for few weeks. Then these kids are teamed up in  teams depending on their skills. Which is fine because you don’t want a little one who does not know how to skate to play with a top skater. It is more frustrating than helpful.

Unfortunately, this process can end with big disappointments. Hard work and willingness to achieve are not necessarily the top criteria. It turns to be about who you know and who you like often more than anything else. What really happens is that these volunteers who select the players tend to forget that they are selecting young recreational players and not competitive teams. Players come in the first place for fun and looking for improvement. These are kids that are here to develop, get better and have fun. They are absolutely not picks  drafted to a professional team. No way to consider them this way.

Benched because the coach is mad at him

Once the team chosen, the kids start playing games against other teams. These games are really great but also bring their fair share of stress. They have the pressure to perform, score goals and not to do mistakes. Encouraging young ones to perform and to work hard to improve their skills is great. That’s what as parents we expect from coaches. But refraining them from playing  because they did not play up to the coach’s expectations is unacceptable.

We expect all the kids to play and not to be benched in a game because the coach is getting too competitive and too eager to win. It is fun to win: fun for the players, fun the team. We all want our kids to enjoy the taste of wining and get competitive. But most of all we want them to have some fun.

Often, the most accomplished kids in sport are those who we encouraged and tought how to love a game and not how to hate it. How many talents did we blow off because of we were short sighted and we didn’t treat them as kids.

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