USA Hockey and state governing bodies and associations are all scrambling to figure out why there has been a measurable drop in hockey participation over the past few years. Based on your conversations with friends and family – tell us through the poll below why you think parents are electing to put kids in sports other than hockey?
I walked into a local big box sporting goods store this week (the store’s name is the common nickname for Richard) with my son to buy a new baseball glove. While we were waiting for a key to dislodge the glove from the locks on the wall, I glanced over and saw a young Mom struggling with her 8 year old son and the store clerk, while buying some hockey equipment for his “Learn to Skate” program debut at a local rink. It became obvious from the start that the store clerk didn’t have a clue how to help this woman and she was growing more frustrated by the minute. I walked over (because I’ve been through this a few hundred times) and looked at the kid’s equipment. Stick too long, skates a full size bigger than his shoe size, helmet too tight, an over sized and expensive bag he didn’t need and gloves small enough to ably fit my cat. Continue Reading »
I just read an article from the Minnesota based “Let’s Play Hockey” Magazine about coaches who make the decision to run a youth hockey “short bench.” If you get by the somewhat annoying online typeface, the author, Hal Tearse, makes some pretty good points. I have to admit that I was one of those parents who used to support this coaching strategy known as “the short bench.” I was wrong. Continue Reading »
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When I was a kid, seeing Grandparents at a hockey game was pretty rare. Today, you can’t go to a game at any level without running into Grandparents at the rink. We certainly live in different times. Divorce and unplanned pregnancies have taken a huge toll on what once was the “traditional” hockey family and Grandparents have come to the rescue to help besieged single parents and in some cases have even stepped in to raise the children. Of course, there’s the Grandparents who just want to see their Grandkids play, which is great, but this story will celebrate those who had little choice in the matter.
Can’t tell you how thrilled we were to get a call from USA Hockey Magazine reporter and Syracuse, NY hockey mom Christie Casciano Burns who was working on a story about the balance that parents have to make regarding fall sports and a new school year – focusing on (surprise) Youth Hockey! We certainly got our say out there in the article entitled “Back to Hockey, Back to School” in the latest edition of the magazine. If you haven’t received yours in the mail yet, you can read the story here.
Kids have been hit in the head since time began. Heck, I had four concussions before the age of 16 (which my wife believes, explains a lot) and no one ever rushed me to a hospital or had an MRI or x-ray, though my Mother for years yelled at me and told me “I needed to have my head examined.” Some kids go through their entire lives without breaking a bone or getting a concussion and some (like my youngest) can’t get through a single summer. Injuries and concussions happen, and thankfully, doctors , parents, coaches, schools and sports governing bodies are making prevention and diagnosis a huge priority. Unfortunately, I believe that current efforts to lay this heavily at the feet of volunteer coaches is misdirected. Continue Reading »