Don’t Be That Guy: 7 Attributes of Bad Minor Hockey Coaches

Posted: February 3, 2014 in Debates & Hot Topics
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I recently wrote an article entitled, “10 Reasons Why I Would Never Coach Minor Hockey” that was posted on my blog site, glassandout.com.  People had been asking me for years why I don’t coach minor hockey, so I figured I might as well map out my reasons.  Not long after I posted the article, it went viral and the comments began flooding in from around the world.  Most people got a chuckle out of it and could relate to experiencing the minority of gongshow parents that were outlined in the article, while some people were downright angry, stating that I was biased towards parents and was letting bad coaches off the hook.  After reading some of these comments, I figured I owed it to my endearing critics to flip the coin and talk about the fact that there are some bad minor hockey coaches out there and that maybe, just maybe, there is a good reason why some parents turn into Linda Blair from the Exorcist when they walk into a hockey arena.

So without further ado, here are 7 Attributes of Bad Minor Hockey Coaches, in no particular order.

1.      Screaming Between the Whistles

Nothing annoys me more than when you see a coach screaming at players during the play at a minor hockey game. It serves no purpose other than to fuel anxiety and confusion. This is what ineffective coaches don’t understand. They think that coaching means being loud between the whistles, constantly screaming instructions. Effective coaching is preparing your team so that they can use the tools they have been taught to read and react when the game is on. Plays happen so quickly on the ice that the brain can’t properly process what a coach is screaming from across the ice. If anything, this creates confusion and a detrimental break in focus.

The human brain can only efficiently focus on two stimuli at a time. The first priority has to be what your senses are telling your body about what is happening on the ice, and in return, the reactions of your body to the stimuli. In hockey, this is called reading and reacting. The second focus priority is the communication from your team mates, helping you to make sound, split-second decisions.

Once you start letting other stimuli into that focus window, you start to lose efficiency and the potential for error increases dramatically. If you add in a screaming coach or parent, or you let taunts from opponents into your range of focus, you will experience significant drop offs in your prioritized focus areas and essentially, your overall focus. Being able to block out these other aspects is what is known as fine-tuning your focus.  Good coaches understand this and try to develop these skills.

2.      Board Talk Marathons

With the cost of ice today ($275 an hour in my hometown of Kingston, Ontario), it amazes me how much time minor hockey coaches spend at the rink board explaining drills and yammering on.  Some coaches will spend a cumulative of 15 to 20 minutes on the ice explaining drills during a 50 minute practice (An hour minus 10 minutes for resurfacing).  These coaches are wasting valuable ice time that could be put to better developmental use.

One of the best coaches I ever had was completely against any board talk while on the ice.  He was highly organized and had a very precise system of teaching.  At the start of every season, he would give each player a binder that contained all the drills we would do during the year, along with detailed explanations and diagrams.  Whenever he wanted to add a new drill, he would print a page out for everyone to add to our binders.  Each drill had a catchy nickname like, “Egg Beater” or “The Finisher.”

Forty minutes before each practice, he would write the drill lineup on the board in the dressing room.  If we had any questions about the drills, we had 40 minutes to get them answered.  When we would hit the ice, it was all business for 50 minutes.  When it was time to switch drills, he would blow the whistle, say the nickname of the next drill and away we’d go.  His system was efficient, organized and ideal for peak development.

3.      System Overload

One of the biggest problems in minor hockey today is “System Overload”.  Many minor hockey coaches are obsessed with strategies and systems, spending most of their time teaching 9, 10, and 11-year-olds the “Left Wing Lock” and “The Trap”.  They spend so much time working on trick faceoff plays and fore checks and neglect what makes hockey players great—fundamental skills like skating, shooting, passing, puck handling and reading and reacting.  At these ages, the extent of “system play” should be basic positional hockey.

These coaches mistake systems for hockey sense.  Hockey sense has nothing to do with systems.  Hockey sense has everything to do with reading and reacting and trusting your instincts when systems break down, which they always do.  Hockey is all about breakdowns.  Every time the puck changes possession, it is essentially a breakdown.  When players move onto higher levels—midget, junior and beyond—systems become more relevant.  It is at these levels that the finely tuned reading and reacting skills become a lethal compliment.

The thing that is like nails on a chalkboard for me is when you get a coach who tries to emulate NHL teams and their systems with his major atom team.  I’ve heard atom coaches say, “You should have seen the Detroit Red Wings break out on the powerplay last night!  I’m going to use it with my atom team.  We’re gonna win it all!”  He’s got no concept of the level he’s teaching.  He doesn’t realize that 9 and 10 year-old kids don’t have the mental capacity or skill level to use these systems.

When is the last time you read a scouting report that said:

“Little Timmy isn’t much of a skater and has a shot like a muffin, but boy oh boy can he ever run that left wing lock!  This kid is really going places!”

4.      Lack of Communication with Parents

To be a minor hockey coach means to be approachable. As a parent, I have a built in worry system when it comes to my daughter.  I worry about her when I drop her off at daycare and I will worry about her once she starts organized activities.  As a parent, you want what is best for your kids and you want them to be happy.

When a parent watches their kid skate onto the ice for a practice, they have to understand that what happens in the next hour is beyond their control.  For some parents, this is a really hard thing to come to terms with.  One thing that a coach has to do is to communicate and help parents understand their methods, and in doing so, alleviating some of the anxiety.  In minor hockey, the priority is development and well-being.  The coach’s job is teaching kids the value of team culture and developing their skills.

Oh ya, I forgot to point out that parents are paying shitloads of money!  They deserve to know that their paying for more than just snazzy tracksuits and a team bag.

5.     Lack of Positive Communication with Players

When I was growing up, coaches were unmistakable in their cliché.  They had a sharp, piercing whistle looped onto a broken skate lace, barked orders like a drill sergeant, didn’t smile and they told you to “Suck it up” and “Tough it out”.  If you scored a goal, they’d point out what you did wrong before you scored and if you made a mistake, they’d bench you.  This was the old-school mentality that the real world is tough and I’m training you to be able to fight through adversity.

Most people understand now that this way of thinking is as old and outdated as 8-track players, but there are still a lot of people out there that practice this method of motivation. It’s the people who say, “Life is tough and no one is going to hand you anything for free.”  They say, “If you coddle these kids, they will never know the value of hard work and conquering adversity.”  The last time I checked, when times get tough, you kind of know it.  From my experience, it’s much easier to tackle daunting tasks with a strong sense of confidence and self-worth than with the mentality of “I better not screw this up.”

If you’ve ever played hockey and scored a goal, you know the overwhelming feeling that follows.  It’s like being on top of the world.  After the goal, you always play your best hockey because you’re filled with positivity.  Your legs feel lighter, your energy levels are higher, and you have the desire to accomplish more. Now think about it.  Is it the act of scoring the goal that makes you feel like this or the reaction of pats on the back and smiles you get from your coaches and team mates?  Next time your kid scores a goal in a game, have them go home afterwards and shoot a puck into a net in the driveway.  Afterwards, ask them which goal meant more to them and why.

It’s as simple as this: Kids want to do things that are fun.  Feeling valued and a part of something positive and special is fun. Getting screamed at and called names isn’t.

6.      Winning is Everything Mentality

When I was a kid, I had a bunch of trophies and medals from winning tournaments and championships in hockey.  15 to 20 years later, two facts stand out.  One, I can’t remember one of the tournaments we won or how we did it, and two, I have no idea where any of those trophies or medals are today.  The simple fact is, minor hockey isn’t about winning.  Minor hockey is all about having fun and developing.  Is winning fun?  Sure it is, but not at the cost of having half your team rot on the bench.

Nobody cares if the Amherstburg Atom Cs from 1983 won the Regional Championships.  Banners in arenas mean absolutely nothing to me.  When I was a junior A coach, we used to go to St. Mikes to play the Buzzers and one of the other coaches said to me, “Look at all the championships they won in the ’80s.”  I said, “Sorry, I didn’t notice.  I was too busy looking at all the pictures of former players who went on to play in the NHL.”  To me that’s the biggest compliment to a program.  It’s the development aspect.

The primary goal of every minor hockey coach should be to develop all of their players and help them move on to the next level as better players and individuals. There is this obsession today about how great players have always been stars on their teams.  This is ridiculous.  There are more stories about late bloomers and underdogs in hockey than most libraries can hold.  NHL players like Dustin Penner were never stars on their teams growing up and didn’t realize their potential until it was almost too late.  Whoever says they can tell who will succeed and who won’t on a team of 14-year-olds is nuts.  Kids will surprise the heck out of you when you give them a boost of confidence and show some trust in them.

7.      Looking Out for Numero Uno

Don’t misjudge my message on this point.  There is nothing wrong with getting into coaching with the dream of someday making a career out of it.  What I want to touch on here is that there are some coaches out there that treat coaching minor hockey as a way to further their own interests.

There are a lot of different ways minor hockey coaches look out for number one.  One common way is to find the person who has the most influence to help them achieve their goals and coach their kid’s team.  From this position they can gain advantage by favouring the kid or working out an arrangement.

When I was in my OHL draft year, I was cut from my local AAA team because one of the parents brought in a coach that he could control to overplay his kid and all of his friends.  The result was, myself and several of my friends were cut that season and had to go down and play A level hockey.  Several years later, I was playing junior A hockey in Ottawa and this coach came to one of the games where I was named first star.  After the game, my assistant coach at the time said, “Jamie, one of your old coaches is at the door and wants to talk to you.”  I asked who it was and he said his name—the guy who cut me in my OHL draft year.  I said, “Go back out there and tell him to hit the bricks.”

Another way minor hockey coaches put themselves before the team is by using their position as leverage against the parents.  Everyone has heard of minor hockey coaches accepting bribes and preying upon parents in vulnerable positions.  Maybe it’s, “You give me a job and I’ll make sure Timmy is on the first line,” or, “Get me a reduced mortgage rate and I’ll make sure Billy starts 75% percent of the games in net.”

Comments
  1. Michael O'Pray says:

    Hi There.

    I have read both posts and reserved judgment with your thoughts on how awful Minor hockey coaches are. I agree with most I what you say. After reading this post I again find myself agreeing with much of what you say. I am a coach course conductor with hockey canada and have been coaching for over 25 years. (I’m 46). What saddens me the most from what I read is that people like you don’t coach. You have to be part of the solution in order for coaches like you describe to not have a place to coach. With a volunteer system the hard truth is that these awful coaches manage to exist because people who can coach don’t step up and get involved. Blogging about won’t change anything. Any coach you describe won’t even read what you write. Their mirror doesn’t look back at them and say ” I’m a bad coach I need help”.
    Best Regards.
    Michael O’Pray
    Riverview NB

    • jamer4472 says:

      I respectfully disagree with you Michael. Firstly, the main reason that I don’t coach is that I have a young family and coaching is too much of a time commitment away from them. I coached junior A for 4 years and it was a significant strain on my family life. But, writing an article about that makes for a boring topic.

      The main reason I have written these articles, or any articles, is to create awareness and provide some insight. Before I played under great coaches in junior, the NCAA and pro, I wouldn’t have realized that spending 20 minutes at the board during practice was detrimental. Before I played in Europe and saw how advanced some of the skill development was, I never would have realized that spending 70 percent of practices in minor hockey practicing the trap is counter productive to developing crucial hockey skills.

      • I live in Ontario and we are losing excellent coaches at an alarming rate. I have coached for the past 26 years and 10 of those years I was a coach mentor for our district program. We are losing coaches because of parent entitlement. I would challenge you to find one other institution that has volunteer position in the country that allows the abuse of their volunteers to go un-challenged? Associations have turned a blind eye to the effects and behaviours of parents when it relates to coaches. I have seen parents kicked out of rinks because they yell at referees. Coah abuse is a real thing that is being swept under the carpet by programs all over Canada. I attended the Roger Nelson’s coaches program in Windsor. Coaches from all over the country were saying the same thing. Why is Hockey Canada not adressing this extremely important issue!!! We are not only losing good coaches. I had the same challenge for my 22 year old son, who accepted the challenge last year. He was an assistant coach with a Midget B rep team. He ran most of the practices because the head coach wasa parent that never played the game. By the end of the season he told me that the 60 % of the parents were going out of their way to verbally attack him and his credability! The kid was 22 trying to give back to the game he loved! I tried to explain to him this percentage used to be 20 %. Now it is 60%. I think Hockey Canada and all executives should be the people that you ask to look in the mirror, not a potential coach!

    • Michael: I live in Ontario and we are losing excellent coaches at an alarming rate. I have coached for the past 26 years and 10 of those years I was a coach mentor for our district program. We are losing coaches because of parent entitlement. I would challenge you to find one other institution that has volunteer position in the country that allows the abuse of their volunteers to go un-challenged? Associations have turned a blind eye to the effects and behaviours of parents when it relates to coaches. I have seen parents kicked out of rinks because they yell at referees. Coah abuse is a real thing that is being swept under the carpet by programs all over Canada. I attended the Roger Nelson’s coaches program in Windsor. Coaches from all over the country were saying the same thing. Why is Hockey Canada not adressing this extremely important issue!!! We are not only losing good coaches. I had the same challenge for my 22 year old son, who accepted the challenge last year. He was an assistant coach with a Midget B rep team. He ran most of the practices because the head coach wasa parent that never played the game. By the end of the season he told me that the 60 % of the parents were going out of their way to verbally attack him and his credability! The kid was 22 trying to give back to the game he loved! I tried to explain to him this percentage used to be 20 %. Now it is 60%. I think Hockey Canada and all executives should be the people that you ask to look in the mirror, not a potential coach!

  2. […] For those of you who are ready to strangle me, check out the other side of the coin in my article: “Don’t Be That Guy: 7 Attributes of Bad Minor Hockey Coaches.” […]

  3. Arnie Klassen says:

    Love the blog. Solid read, and insightful. I’ve been a volunteer with minor hockey since 1976, but never coached. Even at a safe distance, I have still had parents who wanted to sue me and the rest of the staff for potential lost future earnings of their little superstar, because we were holding back his development and future draft prospects. Keep your stick on the ice.

  4. Jeff Riddall says:

    Great post. I am a minor hockey coach to a group of 15-18 year old girls and I am happy to report that I only find myself relating to the first of your “coaches”. I believe my yelling comes from pure exuberance for the game and wanting to help/encourage the girls to compete at their highest levels. I know I do the same kind of “yelling” from the stands when I’m a simple spectator. That being said, I will take some of what you wrote to heart and make an effort to quell my screaming moving forward. I hope no one who has witnessed me coach feels I fall into any of the other categories as I do try to focus on personal skills, simple instructions and above all – FUN!

    #imahockeydad
    http://imahockeydad.com

  5. Good eye says:

    Can you do a blog on how coaches should coach their own kids on the team. Please refer to how favouritism should be addressed. It is not all in parents heads by the way their frustration with these type of coaches. Parents pay equally for registration, ice time and children should be treated equally. This is below the peewee level. They can see the ice and they see the favouritism, favouritism I mean by significantly more ice time and positional play. As well as better line mates. Also different rules in regards to allowing to rush the puck and not pass while others have to. Putting his/her kid higher in ranking during tryouts that other kids who should be there. In previous years it was even petty things like always receiving an MVP even when not deserved. Basically it is why he/she is coaching. Please respond to what you would suggest the coach should be doing in regards to his/her child.

    • jamer4472 says:

      Ultimately, all coaches have their own unique style. My contention, with regards to youth hockey, is to try and develop all players. From my experiences, the kids who are dominant at 11, 12, 13, and 14 aren’t necessarily the kids who will move on to higher levels and play in major junior, NCAA, pro, etc. Kids develop at different stages, that’s why it’s important to spend time developing all kids. I was cut from the AAA bantam team, and grew 10 inches two years later when I was 17. Everything changed for me at that point in time. As a minor hockey coach it is important to help develop each kid on your team. I believe in rolling the lines when it’s 5 on 5 and ensuring that everyone has a role on special teams, whether it be powerplay or penalty kill (It is important for kids to learn both roles as kids who are powerplay specialists in peewee aren’t necessarily going to be powerplay specialists at higher levels). That way, everyone plays and has a specific role on the team. No one rots on the bench.

      Minor hockey is all about development and having fun. Developing means being exposed to a variety of learning opportunities. And in minor hockey, just like higher levels, practices are just as important as games. You develop more in practice than you do in a game. Practice is where you don’t have to worry about making mistakes and can learn in a controlled environment.

      With regards to parents coaching kids and playing favorites, its a tough thing to weed out. Parents are and always have been a major part of coaching in minor hockey, simply because of the lack of coaches available. And when it comes to parents, it can be hard to be completely objective. It’a a fine line. Everything is under the microscope.

      With regards to awards, I’m not a big fan. If you’re going to do awards, I think it’s important to spread them out. I think it’s more important to award kids for hard work and recognizing things like sacrifice, sportsmanship, team play, etc. Instead of yearly awards, I like the idea of selecting awards for each game (ie. Hardest worker of the game or lunch pail player of the night). These types of things help teach players the value of working hard and doing all of the little things right instead of worrying about points and stats.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for responding. I agree with you on most points but I do think there is a since of entitlement out there with coaches regarding their kids on the team especially if they also play a role on the association they are affiliated with. I would bet this is probably the number 1 complaint by other team parents. It seems the coaches that do this, feel they are entitled because they volunteer but there are no notations in the association rule book that says the coaches child gets more ice and first choice of positioning and basically much more attention by the coach. Not all coaches are like this but I think the coaches who continue coaching their kid year after year after year tend to be like this. Change is good even for the coaches kid. Associations have to start paying attention and make adjustments. To me giving a coach so much political power is just asking for trouble. Sometimes frustration by parents is a symptom not the cause when it comes to discontent on a team. When I see quiet unassuming parents speak out after many years of not doing so with other coaches it is very telling. The awards are like you said not important but obviously to that coach they are when he/she would award his/her son the award regardless of anyone else consistently.

      • Rick says:

        Wonderful article. It took 25 years of coaching to finally understand what made a good coach, both as a teacher and as a person. I have seen it all, from tyke to junior, and parents are generally the largest problem. The other is the lack of talent in a small association and the amount of ice time that is available. Suffering through midnight and 5 am practices added to the problem. Your description of parent’s behaviors of control – I have been the recipient of them all. It became a balancing act to teach, to win, and to be fair. On more than one occasion I had to deal with an irate parent over ice time for Johnny when I carried only 4 defencemen. I was replaced, by those parents who ran for executive, so they could choose their coach – so that their child would get more ice time or make the team that weren`t on it from the year before. Winning a championship and losing only 4 games in a season wasn`t good enough. I had one mother at the bench calling me 4-letter words during a championship game for 10 year olds. Unfortunately, their kids never progressed any further and they didn`t `win`much – either in the rink or in life. I had 2 sets of parents in my face toward the end of one season over playing time, power play, etc as they were trying to get their kid the `scoring` title. I ran the full gambit from tyke to major midget, from house to AAA, and over 25 years, I can really say, I`ve seen it all. I was a decent player, and above average coach. I tried allowing others to coach my son, but found that worse than doing it myself. I can relate to the parent waiting to see their kid play because I have been there. It did help to develop a philosophy but didn`t do much for my kid. There were lessons for both of us to learn. I was more respected outside of my home rink and `blackballed` to coaching `B`teams instead of AAA the last 4 years that I coached. The problem has not changed in a generation as I now witness the same things happening with my 18 year old grandson. He has experienced the worst coaches that have ever existed. From favoritism to bullying on the team, they are just not nice people. They do the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Although they can run a nice practice (drills) they have no concept on how the game is played. Sad. Although I enjoyed teaching at the house league level, I have lost my zest to coach at all. No wonder that those that left are not very good. I hope that your article will promote and develop one good coach that will have the `guts`to follow your ideas and philosophy.

  6. Devin Malakoff says:

    My son played hockey in a small town where the emphasis was always on skill development, and they rolled lines, and everyone had opportunities for special teams. We took it for granted this was how it should be, and we did notice other teams in the league didn’t do this. I always felt sorry for those kids.

    This season my son went to a different center to play Bantam Hockey and in the most literally sense this was disgusting. The three Coaches all had their kids on the team, and the favourtism was apparent. The same kids all played Power Play, and it was a very short bench. Not that this matter, but my son scored over 50 goals in his last season of Pee Wee playing on a team, that rolled lines, and gave opportunities to everyone. This season he rotted on the bench. There was no skill development, no team play, the team was undisciplined it was just awful.

    The process was to wait 24 hours if you have an issue. The Team Manager is best friends with the Head Coach, and they share Roughrider season tickets. When a parent asked the Team Manager why her son has not been played as a Goalie for the first 3 games, she was told, there was a lot of hockey left. He played 6 games total. The Head Coach is also President of the local hockey Association. There was a boy who was cut and then put back on the team, and he was buried on the bench as that boy’s Dad cut the current Coach’s son last year. It was so political, and you get the drift quick that if you raise an issue it could come back on your child.

    I did approach the Coach eventually and he said he disagreed. So that’s that. Very unfortunate, but I told my son just keep playing and don’t get discouraged.

    • Good eye says:

      I think that coaching and having a role on the team’s association should be considered a conflict. I also think maybe a good idea would be to limit the number of years a coach can coach the same kids in minor hockey. There begins to be too much history, too much of a sense of entitlement. I think it is good for kids to have different coaching just like different teachers. It teaches them there is more than one way. Minor hockey associations wonder why kids give up rep hockey or hockey in general. Coaching has a lot to do with it, parents know this and they hate to see their kid who loved the sport not want to step on the ice. Some coaches think parents are upset because their kid is not get special treatment but that is not so. A good coach should be able to separate his feelings from the parents from how he treats the kids on the team. He should not be giving less or more ice to kids in order to gain leverage with parents or to try and get back at parents and the same with positions. I mean grow up already who is the adult! I think that is what I find the most frustrating is the using kids as pawns.

  7. Brian McElroy says:

    Great articles. I really respect that you are addressing such contentious issues on a public forum. I also respect your stance and answers to people who obviously disagree with your views. The issues that are in this forum are found in every minor hockey association, in every region, in every province across Canada. The only common denominator is the volunteer adults that oversee and maintain minor hockey. I also believe that 95% of the adults are involved for the right reasons. However, the vocal 5%, which usually have an agenda, create such a sour experience for everyone else that the good people are choosing not to get involved. Canadian junior hockey teams that compete Internationally want to win as bad as every. What is happening is that other countries are improving dramatically. The irony of this is that other countries are getting improving because they are using Hockey Canada material and personal in their minor hockey systems. These countries are willing to follow that development process that Hockey Canada has put out in printed material as early as the 1980’s. As adults/coaches/executive members, we need to realize that we need to change the way we teach/operate the development of the game of hockey. Unfortunately, I feel that we have to witness more unacceptable behaviour in minor hockey before the adults create an implosion within minor hockey. Like people with addictive personalities, we as hockey overseers, have not hit rock bottom yet before we try to make this kids game fun again.

    • jamer4472 says:

      I completely agree. The game has evolved and changed and we need to re-evaluate the system. The game has become alot more specialized now. Goalies need specific development and teaching, as do defencemen and forwards. Long gone are the days when one coach could go out and develop an entire team. As an instructor, my specialities are skating and defensemen. I know nothing about goaltending and not enough about teaching forwards. It’s like in football. There are offensive and defensive coordinators, quarterbacks coaches, special teams coaches, etc. It’s specialized and unique and hockey has now reached that level. The unfortunate truth, however, is that this requires either alot more resources or more experienced volunteers. Two things that are hard to come by.

      • Brian McElroy says:

        More good coaches teaching all players all aspects of the game is crucial. My philosphy is that all players on a team need to understand the skills and concepts of each position. As well all players need to understand how the power play and penalty kill works but not until high calibre levels, at least Bantam level. No player should be taught or practice a system until at least then!! Coaches need to understand that the most successful teams are the one that use all their players which means the goal at the start of the year should be move the bottom 1/3 players in to the middle 1/3 group and try to develop the middle 1/3 group into the top 1/3 group and challenge and develop the top 1/3 group to move on. Coaches strategy of shorting benches at novice age level in order to get the win has always confused me. This goes on all all levels and age group of minor hockey. All players need to be able to play in all situations. During NHL playoffs, commentors always talk about how the teams that use all their lines/players usually go the farthest in the playoffs. Yet, in minor hockey coaches do the complete opposite. Not all coaches do this but an alarming number do. Then as adults and administators of minor hockey, we wonder why kids are leaving minor hockey…..

  8. […] Don’t Be That Guy: 7 Attributes of Bad Minor Hockey Coaches. […]

  9. Joe says:

    I too am a minor hockey coach. There are a lot of things that happen on a daily basis that are strongly making me re consider coaching next season. I coach at the Atom level. I do not run a PP or PK line. We roll our bench with 3 lines. A different line will start every game on both D and Fwd. Some parents disagree with this and feel I am not properly teaching them how special teams are suppose to work. We look at the positioning for a PP or PK but they feel I should be using the top 1/3 of the team for these items.

    I have a child on the team I coach. I have been told that I do the opposite of most coaches and I cut his time short. He sits out more than any other kid on the PK, He never gets to demo a drill in practice, I use his mistakes as teaching aids. Why is this some may ask. Its the fall out of dealing with parents who have had other coaches favoring their own child. So how can we stop this ?

  10. Anonymous says:

    How do you expect kids to learn if you don’t take enough time to explain the drills to them?

  11. Alain Aubin says:

    I didn’t just have to deal with a coach that winning was everything thus he had no problems with playing his top players more at each and every opportunity but he also had no issues with benching players in HOUSE LEAGUE tournaments where each patent thought their monies paid would mean their son/daughter would be treated with respect. Yet the topper was when the association my son plays in upheld these practices after I complained. The discipline chair of this association stated that heb”guaranteed each and every player on any team would rather be sat (benched) if it meant winning as opposed to playing and losing”. When I told him he was incorrect (as every study on this matter has shown) and that my son only plays for fun and that winning is just a bonus I was told I was wrong.
    I have since then attempted in various manners to have this addressed yet at each and every corner these issues have been dismissed as a “rant” from a disgruntled parent even though I have various emails and recordings to back up my claims.
    The state of minor league hockey has been chronicled quite a bit over the course of the last few years and I can see why. Even though there is an outcry to fix the game nothing is ever addressed. The status quo within the upper escelons of the hockey world won’t allow change to happen.
    It is a sad reflection on Canada’s game.

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