Thread: Great Britain: Hockey in Britain part 3
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03-05-2013, 05:18 PM
Darren Peng
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Originally Posted by J17 Vs Proclamation View Post
Many sports require development at an extremely young age. Wouldn't say ice hockey neccessairly requires players to start at a younger age than some other sports. Starting at 14, with the vast majority of high profile sports you aren't coming close to making it without god given physical attributes. Sport is development is about structured technical developmant of a narrow core of young players from an early age. I don't really understand what you mean by brains (Ha, as if the brain can be pluralised in reference to once person). If you're implying hockey players require a more inate sense of awareness and space (as i assume you aren't implying that brains = intelligence) i disagree. It's a fundamental trait that seperates the best from the good, but such defined traits are just as important in a variety of other sports. Decision making isn't inherently more important in Ice Hockey.

Of course a sport with minimal recognition, a small community and it's regeneration is by and large continued by inheritance. No suprise that parents involved in the sport have children involved in the sport (Something that is common in all hockey nations). Considering the sport lacks the reach of other more globalised, accessible sports, this is hardly suprising.

I hardly think a comparison of you playing football at an extremely low level is comparable to playing in a relatively structured and skilled level. I imagine against competent football players, you'd look severely out of place. At secondary school, we had one player who was involved in the Southamption youth academy, and to say he was significantly better than any other player at our school is an understatement. This player never came close to making it professionally. It may be true to say it's easier to be competent at a sewer level in football relatively to ice hockey, simply because basic skills of football (I,e running and kicking compared to skating and puck handling) are more natural, but when you begin to encroach on a somewhat competent level at either sport (competent doesn't mean professional, or close to) this becomes a non-factor. The seperation between the bad and the above average in ice hockey isn't more defined than in football.
Nearly all of the best hockey players start skating as soon as they can walk, it's pretty much a necessity of the sport, whereas I grew up with guys who have gone on to play professional rugby league in the Super League for Warrington and internationally for England who did not even start playing school level rugby union until age 9 at the earliest and didn't play school rugby league until they were in secondary school, they were both big guys who were quick and strong, they got scouted by Warrington and were then given proper development in rugby league. Of course accessibility plays a part, it's easy to play school level football but not hockey, there is no structured competition here for kids at that level, that's the point.

What I mean by brains is hockey IQ, while some naturally have more than others as shown in the NHL, it takes many years to develop it. I'm a goalie and I have all the basic hockey skills but I play very very low level roller hockey as a skater and I make terrible decisions with the puck and cause turnovers because I lack hockey IQ due to inexperience. It's a very underrated attribute, especially on this website.

The overall point is, if the need to start early in order to make it did not exist, less young teenagers and pre-teenagers would be put off from taking up the sport, and there would be more "mediocre" players developed boosting the overall talent level of the domestic leagues, and then the more talented players could develop better. As of right now, the British junior leagues are all dominated by a select number of players, each team has a couple of top players who do all the scoring and the rest are below average and 80% never make it above NIHL2 level. I have seen it year after year. I've spoken to dozens of young hockey fans and I ask them "why don't you play?" and they all give the same answer: "I thought it was too late to start"

Last edited by Darren Peng: 03-05-2013 at 05:41 PM.
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