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04-12-2012, 10:27 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Just found this post. Hopefully not too late to chime in... I've been involved in alot of spring and winter hockey. Coaching, managing, parenting... The extra 6-8 weeks and $5, 000-8, 000 has to be weighed out. For starters, running "skates", "birthday parties" etc, etc, with the spring team absolutely impacts the winter club. I have found kids inattentive at practices/games (maybe already had a spring skate that day), looking fatigued and mentally "not there" with the winter club. It's everything from the dressing room chatter amongst rival spring team kids to bashing each other's programs. Then comes the meddling "AAA" parents on your winter team who coach spring but not winter (scary considering there is no oversight in spring hockey).... They've got the answers to the winter teams downfall, etc, etc... It used to be spring hockey got going around mid March anyway BUT then these same AAA coaches and eager parents wanted to get going earlier and earlier to get a jump on the competition... What they've done in the process is "meddled" into winter programs by recruiting, talking to kids/parents of winter clubs without having the decency to talk to that coach first... By the time 2010 rolled around there was spring clubs I know getting going in October for "skills skates." These same skates weren't offered to the general public though. I was involved in it and for some of these reasons I've stepped away. Folks, spring hockey is good if you keep it all into perspective... ALL, into perspective. Parents willing to go to the nth degree to follow some fellow around decked out in complete triple A gear, who seemingly has nothing better to do then "scout" 8, 9, 10, 11 year old kids across a province really need to sit back and think: I'm paying $5-8K for an extra 6 weeks of hockey.... That's really all it is. Take a fraction of that money, invest in a good hockey school and bank the rest into your kids RESP's. These spring tournaments have grown to include a gold, silver and bronze division... Where is the elite anymore anyway? It's really just tiered hockey part II.... And alas, every parent believes their child will make the NHL and that's awesome but the reality is folks a very small percentage do and they are scouted from winter teams. I've talked with many kids (now young adults) who played spring and wished their parents would not have pushed it on them, it was not enjoyable, they did miss out on other things. These are kids who went on to play major junior, college hockey... Perspective is all I'm saying.

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