Thread: Great Britain: Hockey in Britain part 3
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03-06-2013, 02:37 AM
J17 Vs Proclamation
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Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
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.
School level football? Er .... that's basically schmuck level. It's true that many of the best talents per age group for most nations start at 5/6, though a function of that is often due to their parents involvement in the sport. Football doesn't require the same exact structure at the youngest ages, however high end professional footballers will have been playing/obsessed with the sport since a similar age.

Rugby is a sport focused more on pure physical traits, traits that don't manifest properly until later on. So yes, in Rugby one can pick up the sport later.

Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
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.
Decision making and awareness of ones surrounding environment are critical attributes in the majority of sports. Yes, "Hockey IQ" is an important trait, and something you look for in developing players, however to say it's more important in hockey than in other sports is to be somewhat disingenious and biased towards your favourite sport. There are many technically gifted players with good raw physical attributes in football who are limited by poor decision making. Tennis requires a constant ability to make quick efficient decisions. As do many other sports. To succeed in Ice Hockey, one doesn't require more "brains" than any other sport.

Again, your example is really flawed and contradictory. I imagine if you played central defense in a football game, your decision making would be highly detrimental to your team, when you reach a certain level of medicority and competency skill level.

Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
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"
What you say is somewhat obvious ; the more players you indoctrinate into the sport at a young age, the greater number of better players in theory we produce. The same can be said for the majority of sports. If you want to reach a proficient level at any semi globalised sport, you're going to have to start at a young age. You think football stars, top flat and national hunt jockeys, top tennis players, top swimmers etc didn't begin at a very very young age? I agree with your premise to an extent in that youth development needs to begin early with ice hockey, but your notion that this is more apparent in ice hockey is very inaccurate.

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