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is it moral to pressure your child to pursue a hockey career?

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Old
01-09-2012, 08:10 AM
  #26
octopi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by startainfection View Post
is it moral and if you think it is how would you try to do it?
I would never pressure my child ( assuming I have one someday) to do anything of that sort.

If he or she likes hockey, they can pursue it as far as they care too and as far as I can support them. I don't like this thing where kids leave home at 14 to pursue high level hockey careers. I would have to go with them or they would have to pursue that career where we live.

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01-09-2012, 08:19 AM
  #27
tarheelhockey
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Originally Posted by AIREAYE View Post
I don't think us non-parents who have ever had the experience of raising a child should have such a strong opinion about something as complicated as preparing a child for this world. Too many intricacies and nuances to have any such opinion be taken seriously at the moment. It does make for some interesting discussion though.
I have 3 boys, one of whom is a teenager and one of whom is pre-school aged.

The teenager likes hockey because I like hockey and have given him access to tickets and video games, but he is not athletically inclined. He tried ice skating and hated it; I bought him roller blades and he was just not interested. He likes talking about the players but in no way is he ever going to be a hockey player himself. It would be immoral (and pointless) to pressure him to play. He would hate it, and hate me.

The little guy has been skating since just after he turned 2. I love hockey, but even I can't keep up with how much he wants to play. When he's not playing hockey, he's playing on a kiddie basketball goal or kicking a soccer ball around the yard. I have little doubt he will grow up playing house league and maybe even travel if he shows some potential. I don't need to pressure him to play, but I do need to pressure him to work hard and take his games seriously. We can have fun at home, but at the rink he has a responsibility to himself and his team. That's as important as the skills and knowledge he'll get from playing. And it's my responsibility as a father to make sure he gets it.

Parenting is an awful lot like teaching (which I have also done, a long time ago). Don't be too quick to judge a parent who wants their kid to soar but has no idea how to teach the right lessons.

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01-09-2012, 08:24 AM
  #28
AngryBoss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopi View Post
I would never pressure my child ( assuming I have one someday) to do anything of that sort.

If he or she likes hockey, they can pursue it as far as they care too and as far as I can support them. I don't like this thing where kids leave home at 14 to pursue high level hockey careers. I would have to go with them or they would have to pursue that career where we live.
I feel the same way.
My oldest son is turning 9 and this is his last year in Novice. In fact, it's his last year of hockey. He just doesn't care for organized hockey.
When they're young, most kids need to be forced somewhat to learn the game as it's not easy and most of the time they get the worst hours (7:30 am on a Sunday. Give me a break).
But he's at an age where he can decide what he wants to do and he's chosen basketball as his fall/winter sport. I'm fine with that too.
I've seen my share of ugliness the sport has to offer and I'm glad he's done with it.
The thing is, he loves playing on our backyard rink and whenever we rent the ice with family and friends.
But he didn't care for the pressure and aggression that he experienced once he got to Novice.
Hockey's a sport that rewards a certain personality. If you're not aggressive, you better be super talented to succeed.
Otherwise, you need to be a bit of a jerk to do well.

My younger son (5-years-old) is a better athlete and does well at hockey. He's lazy though and will have shifts where he simply stands and stares at the rafters.
I put a bit of pressure on him to do his best on every shift. I told him I don't care if you don't score goals, but at least try your best everytime you're on the ice. That seems to have worked well for him.
But other than that, I don't do much prodding.
I see dad's in the dressing room telling their 5-year-old to 'protect the house' first and backcheck. This will lead to scoring opportunities and will help the team win.
Stuff like that makes me laugh. No 5-year-old understands defense and backchecking.
Just tell them to try hard and have fun.

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01-09-2012, 10:38 AM
  #29
CornKicker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by startainfection View Post
is it moral and if you think it is how would you try to do it?
depends on what you mean by your question, is it moral to pressure a 17 year old child who has a shot at a scholarship or something ? i dont think so, pressure might not be the best word for it but encouragement should be there.

is it moral to start dry land training your 4 year old in hopes they make it No.

players who succeed at hockey are ones who want to be there, ones that want to get better. some kids will have all the natural skill in teh world but still be disinterested. its a parents job to help kids find whatever it is they want to do/be. at the same time watching out for them so they dont pis away natural abilities.

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01-09-2012, 11:32 AM
  #30
AngryBoss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CornKicker View Post
depends on what you mean by your question, is it moral to pressure a 17 year old child who has a shot at a scholarship or something ? i dont think so, pressure might not be the best word for it but encouragement should be there.

is it moral to start dry land training your 4 year old in hopes they make it No.

players who succeed at hockey are ones who want to be there, ones that want to get better. some kids will have all the natural skill in teh world but still be disinterested. its a parents job to help kids find whatever it is they want to do/be. at the same time watching out for them so they dont pis away natural abilities.
LOL! This reminds of a parent who once asked a personal trainer to help his 8-year-old son with dry-land training.
Hahahaha!

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01-09-2012, 01:43 PM
  #31
sanityplease
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Quote:
Originally Posted by startainfection View Post
is it moral and if you think it is how would you try to do it?
Play hockey yourself. Play rec league, go to the public rinks, etc. If you have a son he will want to do what you do. He will want to go to the rink & skate or practice with Dad. Set a good example.

Don't raise him with the old "Don't do as I do, do as I say!" attitude.

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01-09-2012, 02:33 PM
  #32
Drake1588
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These words are laced with meaning. Encouragement? Of course! Pressure? Heavens, no!

Figuring out when you're pressuring and when you're encouraging, when you're going too far and when you aren't doing enough to instill valuable lessons about perseverence, strikes me as the kind of nuanced guidance that must be incredibly difficult for parents to master.

As a single, unmarried guy, this is the sort of parenting dilemma that must be so difficult to nail on the head. In the end, the child will decide whether or not to commit to something at which he or she may or may not be talented, and that's all there is to it. Yet figuring out the right way to provide support, avoiding too much or too little, must make for a tricky balancing act. This is from someone as disinterested as they come, speaking in the abstract. For a parent vested in the future of his/her child, the emotional attachment has to make it a whale of a challenge. I don't know the answer, but it's hardly a simple one except in the more extreme cases.

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01-09-2012, 02:51 PM
  #33
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Putting morality aside, it might be pretty stupid. My Dad loves baseball, and he encouraged me (in a healthy way) to play baseball as a kid. Well, it turns out I have no natural ability at baseball, but I do have quite a bit of natural ability at hockey. Had I played hockey from a young age, I might be quite good today, instead of merely being above my peers who started in their mid-late 20s.

I guess the moral of my personal story is, try to figure out what the kid likes and/or is good at, and encourage them to pursue that.

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Old
01-10-2012, 12:12 PM
  #34
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I have a 2 1/2 year old son who is an unbelievalbe skater:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4c-jv0asc0

I am struggling with making sure he reaches his potential without making it seem like work at 2 years old. In the same respect, if I saw video like this of me at age two and found out my parents never pushed me a little I would be pissed. I would have loved to have started this early. This is not a talent I can let slip away. He clearly has a gift and I need to encourage it until he's old enough to decide if he wants to start pushing himself or not. God I hope he does.

What if I don't push a little and in 3 or 4 years when he wants to play he missed that time to become great? Can you believe at 5 or 6 he could be great? 3 or 4 years is a long tome to practice before your 6 years old. Wow!

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01-10-2012, 01:37 PM
  #35
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I think with parenting there is a selfish component. For me, the thought of watching my kids play baseball every weekend sounds punishing but going to the rink 5 times a week is the highlight of each day.

Back in August I took my son to tryout for our club tournament team (squirt). He's a great skater but generally lacks enthusiasm for the sport. He wasn't too keen on the additional practice but agreed to it based on my insistence. We talked about the rewards that come from working hard at something and how that translates to every aspect of your life. The upside for me came after a Winter tournament this year when my son came up to me an said "thanks for putting me on the tournament team". It was genuine.

Is it moral to pressure your child into any sport? Sure, but as a parent you have a responsibility to walk the line between teaching work ethic and promoting a healthy fun factor.

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01-10-2012, 02:28 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckscoach View Post
I have a 2 1/2 year old son who is an unbelievalbe skater:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4c-jv0asc0

I am struggling with making sure he reaches his potential without making it seem like work at 2 years old. In the same respect, if I saw video like this of me at age two and found out my parents never pushed me a little I would be pissed. I would have loved to have started this early. This is not a talent I can let slip away. He clearly has a gift and I need to encourage it until he's old enough to decide if he wants to start pushing himself or not. God I hope he does.

What if I don't push a little and in 3 or 4 years when he wants to play he missed that time to become great? Can you believe at 5 or 6 he could be great? 3 or 4 years is a long tome to practice before your 6 years old. Wow!
Parents are definitely supposed to guide, support and encourage their kids. I don't think there's any harm at all in pushing him a little, just make sure you keep it fun. If he's tired/really doesn't feel like practicing, don't make him. Nothing wrong with a bit of guidance, so long as you're not one of those extreme dads who screams at their kids and makes them practice to the extent that they end up hating the sport (and hating their dads). Some father-son bonding where you have fun together at the rink is awesome, yelling at your kid because his crossovers are weak isn't. I should be clear that you don't at all sound like the "crazy hockey dad," just pointing out that when people are generally sort of "iffy" about pushing kids into something, it's because of the existence of a-holes like this, so long as you treat your kid with love and respect I really don't think you'll go wrong. Your kid is definitely an excellent skater for his age, I would say you should absolutely encourage him to keep it up! Even with just a couple stick times with his dad a week, he'll be miles ahead of most other kids by the time he reaches age 6 (or whenever organized hockey starts in your area).

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01-10-2012, 02:38 PM
  #37
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It's perfectly fine to try to foster a love of the game in your child, but at a certain point it becomes their decision and putting pressure on them about it is probably not the best thing to do.

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01-10-2012, 09:30 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanityplease View Post
Play hockey yourself. Play rec league, go to the public rinks, etc. If you have a son he will want to do what you do. He will want to go to the rink & skate or practice with Dad. Set a good example.

Don't raise him with the old "Don't do as I do, do as I say!" attitude.
Wow this is what I've been doing since this october. My son who is 6 wants to play and asked to start a learn to skate class. I'm 24 and I have never played. I've been teaching myself to skate and I can now hockey stop Hopefully my boy advances to Learn to Play soon and maybe next fall I can try an instructional league. Needless to say the bug has bitten us. We skate together at least once a week and we thoroughly enjoy our time on the ice.

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01-11-2012, 01:44 AM
  #39
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As a parent, I feel (as a 16 year old) that their job is to set the guidelines for you, maybe push you a little to strive for your goal, but not push it too far. As a kid, it's your job to want the goal and work hard to get to it. It doesn't matter how much you harp on the kid, if he doesnt like playing hockey, he's not gunna try.

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01-11-2012, 01:46 AM
  #40
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Wikipedia Alex Daigle, it's a telling tale of what you could be pushing your son to.

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01-11-2012, 12:17 PM
  #41
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Tiger Woods too.

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01-11-2012, 12:35 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by KaraLupin View Post
Wikipedia Alex Daigle, it's a telling tale of what you could be pushing your son to.
...or Patrick O'Sullivan: PATRICK O'SULLIVAN'S STORY

My son skated when he was 2, started hockey when he was 4. He is now 13 and has been playing AAA since he was 9.
Still loves the game, does he have the will and determination to make a career out of it.. we will see.
What I do and say has little impact, he is the one who has to want it. All I can do is encourage him and try to explain to him what he needs to do. If he chooses to do it or not will be up to him.
At the end of it all I still want to have a relationship with my boy and be part of his life.

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01-11-2012, 08:51 PM
  #43
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Its one thing to get them into the game and be involved in minor hockey but whether or not they make pros depends largely on themselves. the best pressure would be to enforce good habits young

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01-11-2012, 09:29 PM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryBoss View Post
It depends on the kids interest.
But I would say by the age of 12, the child will either want it or they won't.
If they don't, then pushing them is wrong as they'll more than likely end up hating the sport.

I've seen so many teenagers that refuse to put on a pair of skates because one, or both of their parents pushed way too hard for them to make it.
My kid has been on the ice since he was 1. We just wanted him to try hockey for the activity level, discipline and physical fitness.

We have seen kids quit along the way, or even sadder in our eyes, settle for a lower level of play when they clearly could play at a higher level.

Every time we thought our kid was ready to step up to the next level, we gave him the choice. He has chosen every time to try out for better teams.

The first time he tried out for a truly elite team, he did not make the roster, but a week or so later a spot opened up and my son was offered the spot. That was 3 years ago, and since then we have given him the option of looking at other teams, and he has said he has found his home.

He loves his coaches, loves his teammates and he is developing beyond our expectations.

Sure we pushed along the way, but he also pushed himself. We have seen parents push their kids too much, but we have also seen parents give up too soon.

After all this time, I'm glad I wasn't one of those parents that rode his kid too hard, but I'm also glad I didn't just sit back and be happy watching him play house, or travel. His team moved from top ten Tier 2 last year to Tier 1 this year and they are pushing themselves like never before, I couldn't be more proud of the path he's taken.

And yea, I'll take a little credit for getting him skates when was 1 year and 1 month old

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01-13-2012, 07:54 AM
  #45
SCritical
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No, it's not.

It's fine to take your child to an activity you yourself enjoyed as a child, or even think he/she will enjoy.

It's fine to support a talented child with private lessons and like.

It's fine to gently encourage your child to perservere if he/she is feeling tired.

It is NOT fine to force the child to practice when he/she doesn't want to

It is NOT fine to inform the child you have expectations of him/her past doing his/her best and behaving respectfully.

As a parent, your job is to support and encourage your child, not be a second coach. It is normal to think your child is something special, but the most important thing in sports in childhood is having fun and learning a little something about hard work imo. You have to trust that the professional coaches and scouts will nurture something special if they see it.

Also it is worth remembering: Just be cause someone is a good skater, doesn't mean they are good at hockey. And just because someone is good at hockey, doesn't mean they are a good competitor.

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01-13-2012, 12:55 PM
  #46
Jive Time
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No, it's not.

It's fine to take your child to an activity you yourself enjoyed as a child, or even think he/she will enjoy.

It's fine to support a talented child with private lessons and like.

It's fine to gently encourage your child to perservere if he/she is feeling tired.

It is NOT fine to force the child to practice when he/she doesn't want to

It is NOT fine to inform the child you have expectations of him/her past doing his/her best and behaving respectfully.
I'm not sure I agree with this entirely.

Yes, I have expectations for my kids and they are absolutely required to go to whatever practice they are committed to be it piano, bowling, hockey, or whatever.

Are there exceptions? Sure, but for the most part there is no opting out. And yes, two of my three kids that play hockey enjoy the game including the practices because we maintain a healthy balance with other activities in their life.

Give your kids the tools to succeed and let them take it from there. This includes learning how to stay committed to something.

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