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09-22-2010, 09:51 PM
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sbkbghockey's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: at the ice rink, USA
Country: United States
Posts: 1,009
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It's always important to remember we once were like that, many as kids but some as adults too. I don't ever mind beginners at pick up hockey, one rink near me has a night of advanced pickup so it's full of ex and current minor pro, jr, major jr, and college guys. the other i frequent is less competitive and there's usually a large mix of experience.

The last time I was in the lockers and the guy dressing next to me looked nervous, so I complimented his brand new looking skates and found it was his first time at pick up hockey and he's only been to a few stick-and-puck sessions. I told him that everyone is pretty excepting and just do what you've learned so far.

Turns out the guy was a pretty good skater and actually blended in the lower quality regulars I've seen lots of times. He was hungry for the puck and not a bad shot. I made sure to set him up for a few goals and when we got back to the bench always tried to point out at least 2 or 3 things he did well for every 1 thing I gave him some pointers for.

Our sport is still a relatively small sport compared to football and baseball (in the US). It’s important to grow the game. If I or the others out there were a jerk to the guy, it’s questionable he’d be back. He might think all hockey players are a**holes and give up on the sport, going to pro games, etc… If he has kids someday and the kid wants to play hockey he might remember his experiences with jerks at open hockey and strongly suggest the kid plays baseball instead…

With kindness and some positive reinforcement the opposite could happen and his kid could become the next great NHL player!

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