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02-06-2012, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by AngryBoss View Post
Well, it looks like my little 5-year-old wants to quit hockey.
I can't say I blame him.

Some history:

In his first year of Timbits our local hockey powers-that-be decided to remove their brains and change the program up completely.
They decided to take games away from the kids for most of the season.
They introduced half-ice games in February and the last 2 weeks they played full ice.
The whole purpose was to better develop their skills. It failed miserably. This was my fourth year helping with Mites and the kids in the first season of The Program didn't improve at all.
In fact, about 30% of the kids outright quit. The ones that stayed in were there because they were forced to be.
I heard more crying and complaining than I ever had.
Why? The practices were horrendous. 12 minutes of T-pushes. 12 minutes of C-cuts. 8 minutes of back-hand shots against the boards. 12 minutes of cross overs on the blueline.
They even took away the 'free time' at the beginning of the practices - where we dump pucks on the ice and let the kids have fun with them. I'd usually stand in a net to play goalie and the kids and I would have a hoot while they tried to score on me and I trash-talked them.
The convener saw no value in free-time so he'd either remove the pucks from the ice, or if they were given a puck to play with, they'd remove the nets forcing them to skate in a circle for 10 minutes with a puck. No British-Bulldog, no Asteroids, No Freeze-tag to end games. The practices were completely devoid of fun.
Parents complained. Volunteers, such as myself, complained. The convener didn't care.
I tried reasoning with him but it didn't work. I tried to point out that 4 and 5 year olds should be having fun first and foremost. If they don't, they'll quit.
And they did. This year they lost about 20 kids to neighboring towns. I was one of them.

This year I went to a different centre and it's run so much better. In fact, this centre's teams routinely kick the butt of my old centre and they've always allowed games for the youngest group.

The problem this year is that my son is on a horrible team. Despite having 4-weeks of evaluations to make fair teams, it didn't work. We get beat 30-1 every game. And I'm not exaggerating.
No changes have been made because kids don't want to be moved to different teams this late in the season.
That's fine.
Where my mistake was, was allowing them to label my kid an "A" player so he's in the Tyke division (mostly 6 and 7 year olds) instead of the Mites (mostly 4 and 5's).
My kid is a good skater. His puck handling is weak though. And he's a very late 5-year-old. He only turned 5 in October. So most games, he's playing against 6 and 7 year olds who are unbeleivable with the puck.
I'm not one of those crazy dads that forces my kids into power-skating, and spring & summer hockey. The only skating he gets is in his Timbit program and on our backyard rink.

But now he wants to quit hockey, and I'm depressed about it.
I'm not that upset that he doesn't care to play the sport, it's that he started off so gung-ho for it. Right before his first year in hockey, he was chewing off his own leg to get on the ice. He'd wear his equipment while playing, eating, even napping. It was so cute.
But then The Program destroyed nearly all his desire to play. He was gung-ho to start season 2 as long as he got to play games. But now he can barely touch the puck and has to skate his butt off to catch kids that have been in skates since they were 2, and also go to countless skating and hockey programs 12 months out of the year.
I just hate that this great little boy was so passionate about the game, and us idiot adults killed it for him.
I should also mention that he can't get enough of road hockey, basement hockey, pond-hockey, etc. He basically loves every form of hockey except for the organized kind.
I'm not going to lose any sleep over my youngest not playing hockey. What bothers me is how he DID want to play and couldn't wait. But that love was destroyed by dumb adults (me included).

It's too bad that there aren't any 'fun' programs for him to join. He plays basketball and baseball as well. Both those sports are shorter (12 weeks compared to 24), only once a week, better hours and there's a heavier emphasis on fun.
Why can't hockey do that?
I've tried contacting our local hockey board to form a "Pond Hockey" league. It would only be 12 weeks, once a week and no rules. Just screw around and have a great time.
But that would mean taking an hour of ice away from a precious travel or AE team and we can't have that.

I used to love hockey. I lived and breathed it. But over the past 2 years I've seen some very ugly things associated with minor hockey. And it's all because of stupid parents who take the game far too seriously.
If it was colder in my area, I'd just build a rink and let my kids skate on that for 4 months of the year. Screw organized hockey. But we don't have that luxery where I live.
the answer my friend is to volunteer to coach, be the coach, then you decide what happens with the kids. what part of the country do you live in? timbit coaches are a different breed man. This is my first year coaching 5 year olds ever, my sons first year of hockey. I have coached at bantam and peewee even 2 seasons as a junior coach. the plan with 5 year old is teaching them the basic skills, but in a fun way. via games etc etc, even our skating drills arent "skate here do this" type drills, they are all superheros do this or racecars do this. our kids love it, but we share ice with other teams and i have had our coordinator tell me that parents have been asking if their kids could come to our team. the honest answer is if you want it done right do it yourself. teach those kids via fun, it is the ONLY way to teach 5 year olds

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