Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – Development Dilemma


To be sure parents only want the best for their child.  We try to make the best decisions for our children that we can based on what we think is the truthful information.  It is such this way in everything in life.

There is one people the parent can not let influence the decision-making.  The child.

The emotion involved in this process is unlike any other.  The player wants to play at the highest level possible, and the coach wants to recruit the player he wants.  The problem is that the match is not always perfect, and if you don’t use your head, you can often make the wrong decision.

If a player says he wants to play for a certain team, that is great, but it may not be the right team for him.  He may actually be offered a spot on that team, but is it the right spot for him?  To be on a team where you may not get the ice time needed to suit your development needs?  This is not the right place for you yes?

It was just a few day ago I spoke with the parent of the player who made his own choice of the team.  This player want to play at a high level which is good, and the player is talented.

The problem is that the player is an American born player who thinks that playing in Canada is right for him.  He thinks this because he thinks that friends of his who already have NCAA commitments are not better than him and he must rush into the high level of play.

The player is seeking the waiver from Hockey Canada just to play in Canada because he is under 18.

The coach of the team tell him already that he will likely be traded to another team, and the player will then be on a team that does not compete as well.  The player does not think clearly and only sees that he is playing in a high level league.

If the player would play in an age appropriate, or other league in the United States where he could develop and become better than he would be able to get where he would want to go.

Why would you as a parent allow your child to go to a team that has already told you they will trade him if you have other options?  The player can not think clearly and there is nothing wrong with saying “no”.

The player is blinded by what his peers are doing.  He is blinded by the opportunity to play at the high level.  He is making the decisions on emotion and not on unbiased information.  This is not the way to make the decisions.

Development decisions are not emotional ones, they are made on information and being educated.  You do not buy the house because you like the way it looks, without investigating the area first.  A year of your child’s life can be just as critical as a home purchase choice.  Would you take that emotional risk before getting the best information?  Would you just believe what a realtor say to be true?

It is time to be smart parents.  The child does not run the house, why would you let the child buy the house?