I often sit and think to myself, hmm what can my next article be about and then wham! It hits me from what we experience throughout the season. Quite sad actually, that I am not writing about the awesome job coaches are doing in their perspective league.
I know I have touched on this before, but worth writing about again. When it comes to coaching, how many of you coaches really truly understand the role you play in these young men lives. Do you truly know the impact of your actions, or lack thereof your actions.
Case in point. A player is jockeying for your attention, he is non-verbally begging you to put him in the game and you continually leave him off the roster with a myriad of excuses. He fights every practice, he works extra hard, he goes out of his way to help and the list goes on. Newsflash: We know all your lies, oh, I mean excuses and quite frankly we are tired of them
If a player is playing and practicing to get your attention coach, then he is not playing to his potential, he is playing and begging you to notice him. And what happens when they are looking for your positive attention, they mess up and you see the mess up. You neglect to give the positive on the other 100 practices he did great things. But you immediately freely give your negative comments on the mess up and not all the good progress he is making throughout the season.
He is messing up because he is playing for the wrong reason, for you coach, to notice him. Do you not see the disappointment in their body language especially when you continue to ignore them when doing well but ridicule when they are not? Shame on you for not giving them the tools showing them by taking an extra minute of your time helping them fix what it is broken, or that you believe is broken.
Coaches, please wake up and help your players, all your players! When they know you have tossed them to the curb, it is hurtful and degrading for them and please do not add fuel to the fire by telling them “you are getting there” because they know you are lying. The only reason why they are sticking it out is because mom and dad are footing a hefty bill. And quite frankly, I am tired of footing your bill for your 1st line and precious Euros, who by the way are not paying nearly what American players are paying, we are not blind to that either. You took on all the players and it is your job and your duty to play them and work them and fix their game.
Please STOP tossing the players you think are weaker players. They have potential and drive, do not throw them to the curb. You took their money and gave them hope. You are shattering them. You are degrading them and you are making them leave the game. They have dreams too. It is not always about winning, you can win by building your team and building your young men up. Motivate them, help them, fix it.
Coaches, do you not realize the impact you are having on this young person, would you like to be treated with no respect and tossed to the curb, no, none of us do, not even you coach. Why don’t you think about how you would feel if the players were your son, you would not like it one bit. But for some reason in youth hockey if a coach believes a player is not “good enough” you avoid them, punish them, ignore them and ultimately you steal their hopes and dreams.
Please coaches take a moment right now, look at your rosters, reach out to the players that you think are weak and make a difference in their lives. Reach out to them, give them encouragement and tell them you are going to give them a chance, a real chance. Then set the goals and if they meet each goal stick to your word and play them. Put them on the Roster and not on the 4th line with 2 shifts.
I am so disappointed in hockey coaches. I love the game, love the journey, but it is becoming a nightmare. If we were not paying parents then I would not have the right to bitch, but we are paying and like I have said before, we expect the return on our investment, not the return for your first line favorites.
Oh yes, Happy New Year to all, let’s hope 2016 brings great things to all of you and our players.