Are You Doing Right By Your Child?
Heres a great article from John O’Sullivan called The Tipping Point in Youth Sports. Read it and then ask yourself if you are doing the right thing for your child or simply listening to the self-professed experts. My wife and I moved our 9 year old back to town hockey from a higher level team so he could score more goals and have more fun. The “select team” was not fun and he dreaded both practice and games. This year he looks forward to everything. Don’t be afraid to admit you may have made a mistake, just correct it. I love my friend Kevin Neeld’s concept of being one of the five best players on your team. If your child ( male or female) is not one of the five best players on their team, move them down a level. Kids get engaged by success, not competition. A child who can’t find the time and space in hockey will not have fun. Let them develop at their own rate, not at yours or your neighbors. Also, encourage lots of free play and creativity. My good friend and NHL’er Scott Gomez told me once that he tells kids at camp to “never dump the puck in. Try to beat someone. Make a great move.” Scott knew that at higher levels sometimes creativity is discouraged. As kids we need to encourage it.