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State of rep hockey in Canada today?

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Old
11-15-2010, 07:28 PM
  #1
adaminnj
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State of rep hockey in Canada today?

I thought I would repost this that was posted to the OMHA forum today.

It says allot about the state of rep hockey in Canada today.
I just pulled my son off a OMHA rep team because some of the stuff in this post.

****Start repost****

A few years ago, as a university student, I introduced 'Hockey Dreams' by David Adams Richards to my Canadian Studies professor. My essay argued that hockey was one defining feature of Canada that cut across our devisiveness of East/West, North/South, English/French, Native/Non-Native, Urbran/Rural, etc. I wish that I still believed it today.

I returned to this forum this evening hoping against a trip down memory lane. The game that I voluntarily coached, as a non-parent, for 7 years remains unhealthy for many children. I am still reading about coaches benching children for various reasons (and then having the gull to defend their actions), and the excuse of three A's meaning that we can lose our collective brains, and the continual pursuit of that championship season (by this I refer to the adults' pursuit, not that of the children to whom I assign no fault). These are all fallacies that take away from this great game or ours.

The truth of the matter is that no child (or teenager) signs up to sit on the bench, no amount of As or 'Selects' or anything of the type gives reason to sit that child out; and that the game's greatest lessons are often learned in seasons where records may approach but never see 0.500.

Does anybody remember actually playing the game? Do you remember the joy on the neighborhood street? Do you remember what you learned about the attitudes, possibilities, and limitations of your hometown hockey friends? Do you remember the glory of winning when everyone had a part of it?

Unfortunately, the winning team today tastes few of these glories. Rather, they don't have time to play on the neighborhood street because they have dryland, practice, a 60 game season, or some other ridiculousness to take their 9 or 10 year old selves to. They don't know their neighborhood friends because they were released from their hometown to play AAA with that coach who is into recruitment, the promise of a captaincy, and committed to fancy-name systems of play that the parents heard Pierre Maguire talk about on the last broadcast. And when they win they can't help but note that David nor Sam nor John were part of it - they dared to go to a music recital last week, missed practice, and thus were benched.

All in the name of the game - the game that once belonged to, and was synonymous with, Canada.

****End repost****

Link: http://www.omha.net/bbs/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=10330

For what ever it's worth.

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11-15-2010, 10:36 PM
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Dump and Chase
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Rep hockey is a choice. If you choose to play it you buy into the system. If you don't like the system you also have the choice to not play.


I played on nothing but rep teams through the 20ish years I played hockey. Several seasons I led the team I played on in points. I also played on teams where my role was diminished.


No matter how I was asked to contribute on any team I played for I relished my role, accepted it and took pride in it. On the teams where I was a fringe player I took the opportunity to learn from those who were better than me. Some of those years were the best years of hockey for me, where I developed the most, had the most fun and felt the most amount of pride for being a part of something that was much bigger than me.


So you don't like rep. Good for you, you are free to move on.


Personally I don't care for the "dumb it down" mentality you hear from so many these days. Schools, sports and other recreational activities all seem to have an ultra liberal contingent who want to divide every situation down to the lowest common denominator.





My son had a coach in soccer this year who consistently gave him hell for "kicking the ball too hard" (he might hurt someone, you know) and for being too aggressive in his pursuit of the opposing players who had the ball (All within the rules, but give Billy a chance ok).


I kept my mouth shut and didn't say anything to the coach or to my son because I don't feel it is right to undermine the coach to my son. He is only 6 years old so it's not a big deal any way. He still got to have fun but he voiced his concerns to me and to the coach on several occasions.




Life isn't "fair". Whether you like it or not. Training your own kids to be mediocre is your right and privilege as a parent. Personally I think there are far too many kids who are apathetic about all of their endeavors because this type of mentality is drilled into them from an early age.




And before anyone goes stereotyping this response let me qualify. I don't support yelling at kids or pushing them into something they don't want to do.

But if they do want to play with vim and vigor and they want to put their heart into something don't stand in their way of having a competitive arena to play in.


You always have the choice to take your kids and your opinion to the house leagues.

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11-15-2010, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dump and Chase View Post
Rep hockey is a choice. If you choose to play it you buy into the system. If you don't like the system you also have the choice to not play.



You always have the choice to take your kids and your opinion to the house leagues.
You have a real chip going there. You started and ended this rant with you could that be Freudian?

I for one have found a coach coaching at the same rep level that dose not have any of the issues above and his team is doing better in the standing than the team I just had to pull my son off of because he was speared in the neck by one of his own players who was more interested in winning the team skills competition no mater who or what he hurts than "having fun" with hockey.

You are the issue with team sports at any level if your statement above is the black and white you see in.

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11-15-2010, 11:26 PM
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I've been on both ends of the benching/sending better players out during my years of rep hockey.

But really I didn't find any coach I played for that bad. The last year I played minor hockey I saw the bench a lot (injuries kept putting me in and out of the line up, never got back to form). First time really that I was on the benching end of the team, and yeah it sucked. I mean nobody wants to be benched, but I just took it as I went. Did it make me unhappy, of course. Do I hate playing hockey now because of it? Absolutely not. Of course I'm sure getting benched as a 13-14 yo compared to 17 is much different, but at the end of the day hockey is just a sport.

And like dump and chase said, if you don't like the system just go play a lower level game. As it gets more competitive, naturally it becomes more about winning.

And how do you win? With a better team system and better conditioned/skilled players. I think kids know, or at least should know what they're signing up for. And it's not like they're being threatened by parents to keep doing what they're doing (yes I realize some kids basically are forced to, I definitely don't agree with that style of parenting).

Now with all that said, I'm thinking about getting into coaching. It's been a while since I've played my share of rep hockey. Granted I never got to taste the AAA system, but I had my chances with Jr teams. I think I'm far too nice of a person right now to start benching kids, but I'm sure if I were to get a coaching position in a rep level organization I'd be considering benching players.

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11-15-2010, 11:33 PM
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There are plenty of dbag coaches, parents and players at the rep level, but also plenty of great coaches, parents and players. Rep hockey is intense and a massive, MASSIVE commitment, the kid has to be super motivated and really want to do it, forcing your kid into rep is always a bad move from the parent's point of view IMO. But plenty of kids love the competition and intensity of the challenge, even if it sometimes does go quite over the top for a bunch of kids playing a game.

One thing I don't like is the violence that is encouraged in a lot of rep hockey - contact sports are great, but there's too much pure malicious/dirty BS in rep hockey. When I was in high school a friend of a friend was part of a huge brawl that got many players kicked out, after the game he was taking a drink from a water fountain and a kid from the other team came up behind him and smashed his face into the spout, knocking out a bunch of teeth. Obviously that type of violence is not encouraged, but tonnes of over the top physical play, fighting, and marginal hits are DEFINITELY encouraged, and a lot of kids just don't know where to draw the line when they're encouraged to go out there and try to hurt kids.

The huge time commitment and the very competitive environment isn't a problem at all if the kid is into it, but the violence is often excessive IMO.

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11-16-2010, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponder View Post
There are plenty of dbag coaches, parents and players at the rep level, but also plenty of great coaches, parents and players. Rep hockey is intense and a massive, MASSIVE commitment, the kid has to be super motivated and really want to do it, forcing your kid into rep is always a bad move from the parent's point of view IMO. But plenty of kids love the competition and intensity of the challenge, even if it sometimes does go quite over the top for a bunch of kids playing a game.

One thing I don't like is the violence that is encouraged in a lot of rep hockey - contact sports are great, but there's too much pure malicious/dirty BS in rep hockey. When I was in high school a friend of a friend was part of a huge brawl that got many players kicked out, after the game he was taking a drink from a water fountain and a kid from the other team came up behind him and smashed his face into the spout, knocking out a bunch of teeth. Obviously that type of violence is not encouraged, but tonnes of over the top physical play, fighting, and marginal hits are DEFINITELY encouraged, and a lot of kids just don't know where to draw the line when they're encouraged to go out there and try to hurt kids.

The huge time commitment and the very competitive environment isn't a problem at all if the kid is into it, but the violence is often excessive IMO.
I remember one game one of our guys got into a fight, I think our guy ripped the other kid's cage off and filled him in. Then after they both got tossed the other team player came out of his dressing room with a hockey stick and tried to get into our dressing room (we were all still on the ice watching this happen). Fortunately before he could get in, parents got to the kid first and the refs restrained him.

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11-16-2010, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dump and Chase View Post
Rep hockey is a choice. If you choose to play it you buy into the system. If you don't like the system you also have the choice to not play.


I played on nothing but rep teams through the 20ish years I played hockey. Several seasons I led the team I played on in points. I also played on teams where my role was diminished.


No matter how I was asked to contribute on any team I played for I relished my role, accepted it and took pride in it. On the teams where I was a fringe player I took the opportunity to learn from those who were better than me. Some of those years were the best years of hockey for me, where I developed the most, had the most fun and felt the most amount of pride for being a part of something that was much bigger than me.


So you don't like rep. Good for you, you are free to move on.


Personally I don't care for the "dumb it down" mentality you hear from so many these days. Schools, sports and other recreational activities all seem to have an ultra liberal contingent who want to divide every situation down to the lowest common denominator.





My son had a coach in soccer this year who consistently gave him hell for "kicking the ball too hard" (he might hurt someone, you know) and for being too aggressive in his pursuit of the opposing players who had the ball (All within the rules, but give Billy a chance ok).


I kept my mouth shut and didn't say anything to the coach or to my son because I don't feel it is right to undermine the coach to my son. He is only 6 years old so it's not a big deal any way. He still got to have fun but he voiced his concerns to me and to the coach on several occasions.




Life isn't "fair". Whether you like it or not. Training your own kids to be mediocre is your right and privilege as a parent. Personally I think there are far too many kids who are apathetic about all of their endeavors because this type of mentality is drilled into them from an early age.




And before anyone goes stereotyping this response let me qualify. I don't support yelling at kids or pushing them into something they don't want to do.

But if they do want to play with vim and vigor and they want to put their heart into something don't stand in their way of having a competitive arena to play in.


You always have the choice to take your kids and your opinion to the house leagues.
Very well put, unfortunately this is the state of most Canadian amateur sports with trying to make everyone equal. Sorry everyone is not equal some are better than others.

In saying all this, I believe that the AAA level for winter hockey should start at the 13-14 Bantam age group. If there is favoritism it is usually a father coach and his groupies only worried about their kids future.

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11-16-2010, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dump and Chase View Post
Rep hockey is a choice. If you choose to play it you buy into the system. If you don't like the system you also have the choice to not play.


I played on nothing but rep teams through the 20ish years I played hockey. Several seasons I led the team I played on in points. I also played on teams where my role was diminished.


No matter how I was asked to contribute on any team I played for I relished my role, accepted it and took pride in it. On the teams where I was a fringe player I took the opportunity to learn from those who were better than me. Some of those years were the best years of hockey for me, where I developed the most, had the most fun and felt the most amount of pride for being a part of something that was much bigger than me.


So you don't like rep. Good for you, you are free to move on.


Personally I don't care for the "dumb it down" mentality you hear from so many these days. Schools, sports and other recreational activities all seem to have an ultra liberal contingent who want to divide every situation down to the lowest common denominator.





My son had a coach in soccer this year who consistently gave him hell for "kicking the ball too hard" (he might hurt someone, you know) and for being too aggressive in his pursuit of the opposing players who had the ball (All within the rules, but give Billy a chance ok).


I kept my mouth shut and didn't say anything to the coach or to my son because I don't feel it is right to undermine the coach to my son. He is only 6 years old so it's not a big deal any way. He still got to have fun but he voiced his concerns to me and to the coach on several occasions.




Life isn't "fair". Whether you like it or not. Training your own kids to be mediocre is your right and privilege as a parent. Personally I think there are far too many kids who are apathetic about all of their endeavors because this type of mentality is drilled into them from an early age.




And before anyone goes stereotyping this response let me qualify. I don't support yelling at kids or pushing them into something they don't want to do.

But if they do want to play with vim and vigor and they want to put their heart into something don't stand in their way of having a competitive arena to play in.


You always have the choice to take your kids and your opinion to the house leagues.
Well said.

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Old
11-16-2010, 08:23 AM
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Dump and Chase
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Originally Posted by adaminnj View Post
You have a real chip going there. You started and ended this rant with you could that be Freudian?

I for one have found a coach coaching at the same rep level that dose not have any of the issues above and his team is doing better in the standing than the team I just had to pull my son off of because he was speared in the neck by one of his own players who was more interested in winning the team skills competition no mater who or what he hurts than "having fun" with hockey.

You are the issue with team sports at any level if your statement above is the black and white you see in.


The excerpt from the article you posted was almost entirely about ice time with a little bit about the commitment level required for many rep hockey systems. I was responding to that.


I don't advocate violence or negative behavior from coaches, parents or players in any way. It should be dealt with immediately and with harsh consequences.


But I disagree with the tone of your excerpt and I am obviously not alone.


If you or your kid wants equal ice time go play house league hockey. It's pretty simple. In rep hockey you have the most competitive kids and you have coaches who are judged on their ability to win games. That is the way it is regardless of your opinion and your right to ***** about it.


Unfortunately in house league everyone will be so busy clicking a stop watch to make sure everyones ice time is exactly equal they won't have much time to teach your kid any new skills or the value of giving your all in competition and in life.


But once again. It's your choice.

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11-16-2010, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dump and Chase View Post
Rep hockey is a choice. If you choose to play it you buy into the system. If you don't like the system you also have the choice to not play.
I played on nothing but rep teams through the 20ish years I played hockey. Several seasons I led the team I played on in points. I also played on teams where my role was diminished.
No matter how I was asked to contribute on any team I played for I relished my role, accepted it and took pride in it. On the teams where I was a fringe player I took the opportunity to learn from those who were better than me. Some of those years were the best years of hockey for me, where I developed the most, had the most fun and felt the most amount of pride for being a part of something that was much bigger than me.
So you don't like rep. Good for you, you are free to move on.
Personally I don't care for the "dumb it down" mentality you hear from so many these days. Schools, sports and other recreational activities all seem to have an ultra liberal contingent who want to divide every situation down to the lowest common denominator.
...
You always have the choice to take your kids and your opinion to the house leagues.
I for one agree with you. My son has been playing AAA since he was old enough (9 year old and is 12 now) and knows he has to play hard every shift.
Just last month he got benched in the 3rd period (he got 2 shifts). After the game I asked him if he knew why he was benched, he said 'no'. So I asked if he wanted me to ask the coach and he said 'no, I'll take care of this myself', so I said 'OK NP' even though it was eating me up inside.
Guess what, he has since pulled up his socks, had a great tourney last weekend and has been getting tons of ice time.
These are the kind of life lessons that I want him to learn.

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11-16-2010, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Nbr-17 View Post
I for one agree with you. My son has been playing AAA since he was old enough (9 year old and is 12 now) and knows he has to play hard every shift.
Just last month he got benched in the 3rd period (he got 2 shifts). After the game I asked him if he knew why he was benched, he said 'no'. So I asked if he wanted me to ask the coach and he said 'no, I'll take care of this myself', so I said 'OK NP' even though it was eating me up inside.
Guess what, he has since pulled up his socks, had a great tourney last weekend and has been getting tons of ice time.
These are the kind of life lessons that I want him to learn.
You should be proud to have a kid like that. AAA hockey is a tough lifestyle for families, but life lessons like that make it worth it. Best of luck to your son!

If there's one thing AAA hockey (and other elite levels) does, it stresses accountability and hard work. I remember telling a friend of mine who never played the game that we would get bag skated or benched if we had a bad game (in terms of our effort), and he thought that was crazy and couldn't understand why we would put up with it. But to me, and the guys I played with, it was a form of accountability, and we knew we were in it together and that it was for our own good. You don't learn those lessons from playing Xbox.

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11-16-2010, 01:38 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dump and Chase View Post
The excerpt from the article you posted was almost entirely about ice time with a little bit about the commitment level required for many rep hockey systems. I was responding to that.


I don't advocate violence or negative behavior from coaches, parents or players in any way. It should be dealt with immediately and with harsh consequences.


But I disagree with the tone of your excerpt and I am obviously not alone.


If you or your kid wants equal ice time go play house league hockey. It's pretty simple. In rep hockey you have the most competitive kids and you have coaches who are judged on their ability to win games. That is the way it is regardless of your opinion and your right to ***** about it.


Unfortunately in house league everyone will be so busy clicking a stop watch to make sure everyones ice time is exactly equal they won't have much time to teach your kid any new skills or the value of giving your all in competition and in life.


But once again. It's your choice.
I agree that Ice time should be a merit granted commodity which is another issue around our decision to leave the team. The trainer who son who is a first year goalie with huge issues demanded .5 ice time for his son. As opposed to my son who was scouted by 2 teams at a higher level and is a 4th year goalie who gets all sort of training out side of the team in and out of season.
At first the coach and trainer wanted to play the kids 2 periods / 1 period. I stopded that

It's the WIN at all cost attitude that gets my blood boiling.

If you are a coach who selects a team you need to give the kids ice time bottom line, but playing a kid 16 min as opposed to 22 min thats merit granted time. But sitting a kid because he had other obligations that is just megalomania.

Yeah my first response was a bit snarky as was yours.

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11-16-2010, 04:18 PM
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I was in a similar situation until I pulled my kid off a team recently.My kid plays defense,so does the asst coach's kid.Guess what,my kid gets moved to the wing and the team plays with only 3 defensemen.I confronted the man concerning this and was told he needed a fast forward,which my son was.Well I let this go,so did my son.Within a couple of games the coach was yelling and swearing at my son because he was out of position,what do you expect - played defense all his life.After a few games of tolerating this coach's crap I decided to say something.His excuse was that he was intentionally trying to get my son mad so he would take it out on the other team.After this talk he was OK for a few games and then back to the same .This time my son talked to him to find out what the problem was and was told by the coach that he was just intense and got emotional during games and not to take it personally.The very next game my son played less than 6 minutes.I confronted the head coach and he backed up his assistant.Next day I asked for a release citing the unprofessional behaviour of the asst coach and was granted one within hours with a full refund.Got him onto a HL team and he's alot happier.Tere are alot of coaches around like this who's only concern is winning and their own kid's ice time.Youth hockey is supposed to be about fun and developement not just winning.To all coaches that think winning is the most important thing,put it aside for once and imagine how proud you and all who you have coached would be if one of your players make it to the show.Also when you decide to sit a player don't do because he's not the best on the team - you picked him.Do it for lack of effort,how do the lesser players get better - by playing.

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11-17-2010, 08:18 AM
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Thank you j12
I have no illusions about the little guy. At this point he's definitely no superstar, rather a middle of pack AAA player. So he needs to work for his ice.

A agree with you blackcharger. That's why I did not want my son to be on a team with a parent coach. Having had a parent coach up until this year, I can tell you that from my experience it never works. I rather pay more money and have a non parent behind the bench.

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11-17-2010, 08:01 PM
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This is why I've volunteered as a non-parent coaching house hockey for 10 years now. I'd suggest that the OP (I mean the one being reposted from another forum) that coached for 7 years do the same, assuming he was coaching some form of rep hockey. House hockey, at least around here, is really undervalued and gets the short end of the stick in a lot of ways, one of which is quality coaching.

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