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12-13-2012, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
I respect his opinion but I still would say this is a natural cycle more than anything else. I don't think there have been that drastic changes in the play vs practice method in Europe and NA in a long time, so I don't believe it would all of a sudden have a huge impact when it didn't in the past. One thing that always cracks me up about the play vs practice argument is that kids don't handle the puck enough in games. Anyone who has watched kids play knows that what happens is there is usually one or two players who dominate and handle the puck way more than anyone else and those are the ones who might have a remote shot at a career in hockey. Practice is critical but no amount of practicing is going to change a pylon into a pro.
It's not a play vs practice time allocation issue, it's about how we approach play and practice and what elements within each we put importance on. As the game has grown the attitude of our hockey community has changed. As Kenny Rausch said, its gotten too professional. Too much emphasis is put on winning and not learning. As a parent who has 3 kids in hockey it's noticeable compared to when I played. There's more politics, parents have less appreciation for the game, kids don't seem to have as much fun and hot shot talents frequently aren't told what they're doing wrong.
We had a similar situation in Sweden. An overemphasis on winning with systems superseded skill development. As a consequence the skills of a generation of players evaporated. I'd also hesitate to call that a dip in the natural cycle.

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