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jojoco_gw

Coaches: please stop living through your kids!!!

15 years ago

First of all, I am a coach. I am certified to a decent level to coach ice hockey and, on occasion, soccer. That being said, all the kids I coach really like me because I don't live and die on the outcome of a game. I figure my biggest challenge is to make sure they love the game enough to come out again next season. Especially true when you realize I coach some really young kids (5-7) in soccer.

So, last night my 8 year old son had a hockey game. He is on a travel team for boys who are 7 and 8 years old. For those who don't know, a travel team is generally more competitive and plays lots more games (we'll play 56 this year). We've got some great talent on our team and have been blowing out teams all season (not really my son, but who cares?) Anyway, at the game last night, we played a team we had beat 8-0 the week before. This time they played much better and up until the third period began, the score was tied, 1-1. In the end, we won, 5-1, but it was a lot closer than the score reflected. We were actually pretty lucky to win. Before leaving the ice, our coaches called the kids to the bench to talk (yell) to them. Then they had all the kids go to the end of the rink and made them do three there and back laps. In hockey circles, it is known as "skating them" and is done when a coach is angry about the game.

When I saw the kids on the red line, I turned to one coach and said "You're kidding me, you're going to skate them?" He ignored me. I told him that was ridiculous, that the kids were 7 and 8 and THEY WON. But no, they skated them anyway. So I wrote to the pres. of our hockey org and told her that there needs to be a bylaw that says skating should never be done post game in a punitive manner. I can almost see the use of it for hs and college teams, where the kids understand the link between dogging it and losses (or even undeserved wins), but certainly not for these little kids. She agreed saying it won't happen again.

The bottom line is that our coaches live and die hockey and the tone of their coaching relies heavily upon how their individual kids perform.

Sheesh. I am thinking my son will play house next year and I will coach.

Jo

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