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Concerned hockey mom needs advice...

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Old
08-19-2008, 07:35 PM
  #1
stormsurge
 
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Concerned hockey mom needs advice...

Hi all...I realize I haven't posted here in what seems like forever, but I need some advice, and I felt like this would be a good place to start...

My 10-year-old is approaching his second season of travel hockey. He is a quick, tough defenseman, and a fast learner. He absolutely loves the game, and he loves his team and his coach.

The problem is this...last season, he was one of the youngest players on the team. One of the older kids had it out for him. If the opponent happened to score during my son's shift, according to this one teammate, it was all my son's fault. We had hoped the antagonizing would subside over time, but it lasted all year. My husband and I just tried to encourage him to ignore this kid and prove him wrong, but I firmly believe that negative experience has left a lasting impression on him that is holding him back.

The new season has just gotten underway with a pre-season game. In this game, my son was very apprehensive about making a play, seeming to second-guess every decision he made on the ice. His skating was slow and calculated. We spoke to him after the game, and he said that he just doesn't want to make a mistake and let his teammates down. However, in practice, he is wide-open, and his play is constantly frustrating some of the better forwards on the team. He is like two different kids out there...apprehensive during games, and aggressive during practices.

Has anyone here ever experienced anything like this? Maybe you have personally dealt with this same problem at one point in your life, or perhaps you have coached a player with a similar fear. I am just not sure how to handle this. My concern is that his love for the game and his personal development as a player will suffer because of his fear of making a mistake on the ice.

For anyone who may reply, thanks in advance!

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08-19-2008, 07:43 PM
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It's nothing more than intimidation. Once he starts making good plays in a row, his confidence will build and he'll go back to his old ways.

If needed, have the coach talk to him privately, but tell the coach to tell your son explicitly the good things he's doing out there. Being taken aside to be told you're playing good will really boost his confidence

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08-19-2008, 08:12 PM
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Harrison Ford
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Originally Posted by Zach - #1 Canes Fan View Post
It's nothing more than intimidation. Once he starts making good plays in a row, his confidence will build and he'll go back to his old ways.

If needed, have the coach talk to him privately, but tell the coach to tell your son explicitly the good things he's doing out there. Being taken aside to be told you're playing good will really boost his confidence
yeah i think thats the best solution.

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08-19-2008, 08:23 PM
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Tell him to stop being soft, he should have knocked that kid who **** talked him in the face.

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08-19-2008, 08:46 PM
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Zach's advice is really good. It'll assure him of his skill and give him confidence.

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08-19-2008, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormsurge View Post
Hi all...I realize I haven't posted here in what seems like forever, but I need some advice, and I felt like this would be a good place to start...

My 10-year-old is approaching his second season of travel hockey. He is a quick, tough defenseman, and a fast learner. He absolutely loves the game, and he loves his team and his coach.

The problem is this...last season, he was one of the youngest players on the team. One of the older kids had it out for him. If the opponent happened to score during my son's shift, according to this one teammate, it was all my son's fault. We had hoped the antagonizing would subside over time, but it lasted all year. My husband and I just tried to encourage him to ignore this kid and prove him wrong, but I firmly believe that negative experience has left a lasting impression on him that is holding him back.

The new season has just gotten underway with a pre-season game. In this game, my son was very apprehensive about making a play, seeming to second-guess every decision he made on the ice. His skating was slow and calculated. We spoke to him after the game, and he said that he just doesn't want to make a mistake and let his teammates down. However, in practice, he is wide-open, and his play is constantly frustrating some of the better forwards on the team. He is like two different kids out there...apprehensive during games, and aggressive during practices.

Has anyone here ever experienced anything like this? Maybe you have personally dealt with this same problem at one point in your life, or perhaps you have coached a player with a similar fear. I am just not sure how to handle this. My concern is that his love for the game and his personal development as a player will suffer because of his fear of making a mistake on the ice.

For anyone who may reply, thanks in advance!
Sounds like the coach needs to step in. A 10-year old shouldn't be 'bossing' another 10-year old around. A good coach would sit down with both of them to set them straight...

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08-19-2008, 09:33 PM
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Normally a coach wouldn't allow players to go single out a teammate. My past coaches would bench the kid who would go single out a teammate.

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08-19-2008, 10:56 PM
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The coach needs to take control, or your son could step on the older kid with skates on, or you could put a brick in your purse and club the other child and or the coach. Really any of those solutions will prove to work, most likely number one.

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08-20-2008, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by deangamblin View Post
Normally a coach wouldn't allow players to go single out a teammate. My past coaches would bench the kid who would go single out a teammate.
+1 to this

sounds like coach needs to take control

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08-20-2008, 01:06 AM
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dean's right.. either the coach takes care of this situation, as he's supposed to (can't believe he hasn't noticed it btw) or you give you kid the greenlight to tell the older kid to shut the **** up and/or punch him in the face. Your kids probably scared that the other kids on the team would support the stupid kid if a showdown btw the two of them occured. That is rarely ever the case. And if it was then he shouldn't be on that team as its full of *******s. Unless a teammate is not trying at all I don't see why he should be attacked consistently. They are on the same team.. if the other kid doesn't get it then he's an AWFUL personality for your child to be intimidated by.

Tell him to yell back at the kid... it's literally like lord of the flies sometimes with little boys. Let yourself get pushed into the corner by a dominant personality and the next thing you know he'll be quiting hockey.

Your kid has EVERY right to be on that team. He (I'm guessing) went through a tough selection process and made it. The other kid should be watching his game and not worry about yours

besides.. if he doesn't like your kid now, its unlikely he ever will.. tell your boy why should he let this ONE person cast such a ****ing long shadow over what should be a very cool part of his life?

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08-20-2008, 02:22 AM
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Tomas W
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My thought was also, have you talked to the coach? It's his (or she's) job to keep the group working together and make eachother better not the other way around. The coach must take control of the situation.

The coach should also make clear to his players that the games at the age of 10 should not be taken to serious, rather more like practies to develop and learn the game. Most people learn from thier mistakes, a 10 year old who never make mistakes probably never try anything new, thus will not develop.

It this doesn't work maybe there is another team with a better coach for him?

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08-20-2008, 07:41 AM
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Sounds like the coach needs to step in. A 10-year old shouldn't be 'bossing' another 10-year old around. A good coach would sit down with both of them to set them straight...
Absolutely agree. The coach might not know the affect it's having. It might just think the kid plays passively during games.

stormsurge - I'd encourage your son to hold this particular teammate to the same standard. If he doesn't feel comfortable doing that. Tell him to put the body to the kid during drills. Some times kids like that need a little how do you do to get them thinking straight again....and no I am not encouraging fighting. Just a little hey, here I am and down you go along the boards.

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08-20-2008, 08:23 AM
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Wow, thanks for the great advice thusfar! Sometimes parenting is so difficult. You want the best for your child, but you are not always sure the best way to approach these types of situations. I usually do not advocate fighting, but I cannot stand for someone to think they can bully my kid either. I fully expect my children to stand up for themselves.

This situation actually came to blows during a late season tournament last year. I wasn't there, but one of the other parents witnessed the whole thing. He said that if the coach hadn't broken it up, my son would've beaten the crap out of this kid.

My son is anything but soft. He tolerates things pretty well, but once he has had enough, he explodes. I worry that he internalizes things too much. The good news is that the kid who antagonized him last year is not on the team this year. Yet, I still believe my son's level of confidence throughout that whole experience suffered, and he is still fighting that fear of making a mistake. He is a perfectionist. He comes by it honestly, but unfortunately I think this often translates into doubting his own abilities.

I have spoken to the coach before, but I will speak with him again. stick9, you hit the nail on the head. It concerns me that the coach will begin to think my son is a passive player when in reality, he is probably one of the most passionate kids on the team.

One thing that really bothers me about this team is that the parents are so competitive. It's win or nothing with most of them. There is a tremendous amount of pressure placed on the kids--not by the coach, but by some of the parents who think their child is going to be the next Wayne Gretzky. They often talk negatively and openly about the other kids' weaknesses. (Of course, their own children haven't any weaknesses. )

Okay, I am starting to ramble. Sorry! I just need an anonymous place to vent.

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08-20-2008, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormsurge View Post
Wow, thanks for the great advice thusfar! Sometimes parenting is so difficult. You want the best for your child, but you are not always sure the best way to approach these types of situations. I usually do not advocate fighting, but I cannot stand for someone to think they can bully my kid either. I fully expect my children to stand up for themselves.

This situation actually came to blows during a late season tournament last year. I wasn't there, but one of the other parents witnessed the whole thing. He said that if the coach hadn't broken it up, my son would've beaten the crap out of this kid.

My son is anything but soft. He tolerates things pretty well, but once he has had enough, he explodes. I worry that he internalizes things too much. The good news is that the kid who antagonized him last year is not on the team this year. Yet, I still believe my son's level of confidence throughout that whole experience suffered, and he is still fighting that fear of making a mistake. He is a perfectionist. He comes by it honestly, but unfortunately I think this often translates into doubting his own abilities.

I have spoken to the coach before, but I will speak with him again. stick9, you hit the nail on the head. It concerns me that the coach will begin to think my son is a passive player when in reality, he is probably one of the most passionate kids on the team.

One thing that really bothers me about this team is that the parents are so competitive. It's win or nothing with most of them. There is a tremendous amount of pressure placed on the kids--not by the coach, but by some of the parents who think their child is going to be the next Wayne Gretzky. They often talk negatively and openly about the other kids' weaknesses. (Of course, their own children haven't any weaknesses. )

Okay, I am starting to ramble. Sorry! I just need an anonymous place to vent.

All sports parents are bad for that.

If you are worried about your son internalizing things too much, sit down with him and tell him that it's okay to vent after a game or practice, within reason. I used to do the same thing. I wouldn't say anything after a bad practice or race and finally I blew up and it almost cost me a spot on the under 18 team.

Kids need to be kids without worrying about what everyone else thinks of them.

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Old
08-20-2008, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormsurge View Post
Wow, thanks for the great advice thusfar! Sometimes parenting is so difficult. You want the best for your child, but you are not always sure the best way to approach these types of situations. I usually do not advocate fighting, but I cannot stand for someone to think they can bully my kid either. I fully expect my children to stand up for themselves.

This situation actually came to blows during a late season tournament last year. I wasn't there, but one of the other parents witnessed the whole thing. He said that if the coach hadn't broken it up, my son would've beaten the crap out of this kid.

My son is anything but soft. He tolerates things pretty well, but once he has had enough, he explodes. I worry that he internalizes things too much. The good news is that the kid who antagonized him last year is not on the team this year. Yet, I still believe my son's level of confidence throughout that whole experience suffered, and he is still fighting that fear of making a mistake. He is a perfectionist. He comes by it honestly, but unfortunately I think this often translates into doubting his own abilities.

I have spoken to the coach before, but I will speak with him again. stick9, you hit the nail on the head. It concerns me that the coach will begin to think my son is a passive player when in reality, he is probably one of the most passionate kids on the team.

One thing that really bothers me about this team is that the parents are so competitive. It's win or nothing with most of them. There is a tremendous amount of pressure placed on the kids--not by the coach, but by some of the parents who think their child is going to be the next Wayne Gretzky. They often talk negatively and openly about the other kids' weaknesses. (Of course, their own children haven't any weaknesses. )

Okay, I am starting to ramble. Sorry! I just need an anonymous place to vent.
I have a kid the same age. This can be a tough situation for him especially when this other kid is a year older. This kid is being a bully even if it is only verbally.

I would advise against allowing your kid to get involved with any fighting or even lashing back in the same manner. This kid has an unhealthy attitude and is not a good teammate when he acts like this.

Make sure that your kid knows that it is the other kids problem and that that kind of behavior is unacceptable. Mistakes are part of the game. The only way to avoid them is to not play. Encourage him to play hard, acknowledge his mistakes and learn from them.

Telling him to ignore the other kid was good advice. Obviously if the other kid is persistent your kid has to stick up for himself. Saying something like "hey, it was a mistake, you're the only one who doesn't make any" sometimes works. It acknowledges the mistake, if in fact he made one, but at the same time makes it clear that the criticism is unwelcome. Chances are the kid will know he is out of line. (If the kid is dumb enough he may actually believe he doesn't make any mistakes but the rest of the team will know better) Either way the kid is not directly attacked and has nothing to defend.

Other than that he should just try to stay positive with all of his teammates and lead by example. Hopefully he will have a good year.

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Old
08-20-2008, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormsurge View Post
Hi all...I realize I haven't posted here in what seems like forever, but I need some advice, and I felt like this would be a good place to start...

My 10-year-old is approaching his second season of travel hockey. He is a quick, tough defenseman, and a fast learner. He absolutely loves the game, and he loves his team and his coach.

The problem is this...last season, he was one of the youngest players on the team. One of the older kids had it out for him. If the opponent happened to score during my son's shift, according to this one teammate, it was all my son's fault. We had hoped the antagonizing would subside over time, but it lasted all year. My husband and I just tried to encourage him to ignore this kid and prove him wrong, but I firmly believe that negative experience has left a lasting impression on him that is holding him back.

The new season has just gotten underway with a pre-season game. In this game, my son was very apprehensive about making a play, seeming to second-guess every decision he made on the ice. His skating was slow and calculated. We spoke to him after the game, and he said that he just doesn't want to make a mistake and let his teammates down. However, in practice, he is wide-open, and his play is constantly frustrating some of the better forwards on the team. He is like two different kids out there...apprehensive during games, and aggressive during practices.

Has anyone here ever experienced anything like this? Maybe you have personally dealt with this same problem at one point in your life, or perhaps you have coached a player with a similar fear. I am just not sure how to handle this. My concern is that his love for the game and his personal development as a player will suffer because of his fear of making a mistake on the ice.

For anyone who may reply, thanks in advance!

Its horrible what your son is going through.

Like some of the users above said. No teamates should single out anyone.

Your son has to play the game, play for fun, and not let anyone else bother you. Im going through what your son is kinda going through. Afraid to make mistakes, second guessing things. Tell him to ignore the other guy.

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Old
08-20-2008, 11:20 PM
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I played organize hockey until I was 14 yo, unfortunately I broke my leg in three place and I had to "retire." But I was very lucky that my parent never put any pressure on me.

The only advice I can give you stormsurge is just to be there for your kid, that the most important thing is to do the best he can. Tell your son just to have fun out there, it's not a matter of life and death if he makes a mistake, every hockey player will make a mistake now and then.

Good luck to you.

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08-20-2008, 11:44 PM
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kick the kids ass urself....he'll learn his lesson
but seriously talk to the coach

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08-21-2008, 01:44 AM
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do you have an older son?

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08-21-2008, 04:46 AM
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Your son is afraid to be a failure, and this is holding him back. This feeling is of course something most of us have had. Your kid need to get a more pramatic opinion of his own mistakes and overall game.

Like a defenceman scoring an own goal, which looks like a bad mistake. He should not think that "next time I will not get my stick in the way of the puck, then there is no chance I get it wrong next time".

He should think, "yes the play went wrong, but there wasn't anything particular wrong with me trying to clear the puck, it was kind of a bad luck direction. Over a long season it's better to stay in front of the net clearing pucks and players, even though I might look stupid every now and then. If my coach knows hockey, he'll see that".

Same goes with a bad but well inteded pass or whatever.

At his age even bad intended passes should be forgiven, just give him some good advice how to do it next time, and remind him that there is plenty of time to get it right. No games at his age is really that important.

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08-21-2008, 08:27 AM
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Excellent advice, everyone! I am so glad that I posted my problem here. I really didn't know where to turn at first, but you guys have been fantastic! Reading your replies has been really good therapy for me personally, and I have learned some things from you that I believe will really help my son.

Last season, there were so many players who were unwilling to pass the puck and work as a team. As a result, we had a mediocre season. And here's the kicker...the kid who taunted my son was a forward who scored less than a total of 5 goals all season! I believe it was just a personality conflict between him and my son. I think we have all dealt with that at some point in our lives.

Even through this negative experience, I have always tried to instill in my son the importance of respecting his teammates, and this year, I think he has a much better team--both talent-wise and character-wise. I have always heard that sports are 90% mental/10% physical, and I believe this to be true. If you believe in yourself, you can do almost anything. Tomas W, I think you are absolutely right. My son is afraid of failure. I just think he has to forget about last year and focus on the here and now. The only thing holding him back is himself.

Thanks again, guys! You're the best! Here's hoping for a successful season for all of us!!!

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08-21-2008, 10:52 AM
  #22
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My son is afraid of failure. I just think he has to forget about last year and focus on the here and now. The only thing holding him back is himself.
To steal a line from Batman begins - Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.

Those who don't learn from their mistakes are bound to repeat them. No one should be afraid of making a mistake as long as they are able to learn from them.

These things are hard to learn for a kid his age. They see making a mistake as bad thing and want to do anything they can to prevent it. Even if that means not doing all the other good things they normally do in the process.

He should be focusing on going out and having fun. Don't think about winning or losing, just enjoying the game and being part of a group working to achieve a singular goal.

Once he starts focusing on having fun, the worry of potential mistakes should disappear.

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08-21-2008, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormsurge View Post
Hi all...I realize I haven't posted here in what seems like forever, but I need some advice, and I felt like this would be a good place to start...

My 10-year-old is approaching his second season of travel hockey. He is a quick, tough defenseman, and a fast learner. He absolutely loves the game, and he loves his team and his coach.

The problem is this...last season, he was one of the youngest players on the team. One of the older kids had it out for him. If the opponent happened to score during my son's shift, according to this one teammate, it was all my son's fault. We had hoped the antagonizing would subside over time, but it lasted all year. My husband and I just tried to encourage him to ignore this kid and prove him wrong, but I firmly believe that negative experience has left a lasting impression on him that is holding him back.

The new season has just gotten underway with a pre-season game. In this game, my son was very apprehensive about making a play, seeming to second-guess every decision he made on the ice. His skating was slow and calculated. We spoke to him after the game, and he said that he just doesn't want to make a mistake and let his teammates down. However, in practice, he is wide-open, and his play is constantly frustrating some of the better forwards on the team. He is like two different kids out there...apprehensive during games, and aggressive during practices.

Has anyone here ever experienced anything like this? Maybe you have personally dealt with this same problem at one point in your life, or perhaps you have coached a player with a similar fear. I am just not sure how to handle this. My concern is that his love for the game and his personal development as a player will suffer because of his fear of making a mistake on the ice.

For anyone who may reply, thanks in advance!
I went through similar experiences in high school.

And coincidentally enough i was a defenseman as well.

No one on the team wanted to take responsibility for their own mistakes and blamed everyone else on the team.

My mistake, was not telling my coach to handle the situation and take control of his players and to teach them to be accountable for their own mistakes and to preach being POSITIVE.


If i were you, and i'm sure i will experience this situation at some point when my kids are at that level, i would approach the coach.

It is your right and your responsibility as a parent of a player on his/her team.

Approach the coach, and explain the situation. Tell him that this kid is not accountable for his own mistakes and is making your kid's life hell. Tell him that he should do his job and discipline the kid. Or take control of the situation and step in when it happens again.

Also, if your son is showing flashes of great play in practice and is passive during games, his coach should be encouraging him to take more chances in games. The ONLY way he is going to improve his play and improve his confidence is to take those chances. When he decides to rush the puck it is his teammate's responsibility to cover him. It is NOT your son's fault and he is not letting his teammates down by taking chances. If anything he is hurting them and more importantly hurting himself by holding back what he is truly capable of.

So, i would approach the coach about the situation.

And i would encourage your son to just go for it and hold nothing back. Encourage him to fulfill his potential. If nothing else it will project onto other life situations and he will have the confidence to go for it.

This is an important time for him to build confidence. It can reflect on other areas in life.

And if nothing else works, tell your son to speak out in practice to the kid that is hurting him. There is nothing wrong with him sticking up for himself and being vocal. That will build leadership.

And when your son is off being successful in life, that other kid will be blaming everyone around him for everything that went wrong in his life.

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Old
08-21-2008, 11:25 AM
  #24
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It's an insecurity on the Bully's part. Your son obviously has plenty of tools if he's one of the youngest on the team. Usually in minor hockey teams wont take a younger kid over an older one at such a young age. He deserves to be there. As far as the bully, he should be ignored. I get the impression that he probably plays passivly in order to keep his role as tough guy. Your son should just prove himself on the ice, that was very good advice to give him. Further advances of bullying by the kid should be reported to the coach, who should step in. It's not really a team if there's players being singled out. Any good coach would know that.

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08-21-2008, 11:55 AM
  #25
mrzeigler
Geno and Juss '13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deangamblin View Post
Normally a coach wouldn't allow players to go single out a teammate. My past coaches would bench the kid who would go single out a teammate.
Yep.

I cringed when I saw the first reply suggest that the parents tell the coach what to tell the player I'd recommend talking to the coach about the situation and making him aware of what happened with the other kid, but I wouldn't tell him what to say to her son ... but for this situation to exist for this long indicates he isn't the most competent coach around, so maybe he does have to be told what to tell the kid.

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