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Date: 27/2/2014 5:49 PM UTC



30 years ago my 9 and 11-year-old nephews were playing hockey. Like most families we wanted them to play and enjoy the game. After 3 years they quit. It was not fun. The coach played the best players a lot more and they were discouraged. All they wanted to do was play, but the unfair ice time was enough to take them out of the game. Their parents did not complain. It seemed to be acceptable and the “way it is” in minor hockey. Winning is the primary objective and the best players might help them to win. In the meantime their boys noticed the difference and they decided to give up on hockey. It was a discouraging experience.

I wonder how many more young children have quit the game because they did not get a fair opportunity to play, develop and have fun. They were not good enough at 9 and 10 to play in shorthanded and special team situations. When the game was in hand they would get a chance but only if the team was far enough ahead. Besides not playing on special teams they got to play 5 on 5 every 3 shifts while the 2 centers got to play every second shift. They might have stuck with it if they had a chance to penalty kill or play the power play but missing so many shifts took its toll. It just wasn’t fun. They QUIT.

How many parents are living the same situation? You notice the unfair ice time and do not want to complain thinking “that’s just the way it is”. The Local Hockey Association accepts this although a number of board members might disagree. The majority rules and kids quit hockey. The focus on winning is more important than personal development and enjoyment of all participants.

Recently, I talked to a Father about his 15-year-old son-quitting hockey when he was 10. The story is the same. The boy got into football and had just finishing a football camp in the USA and was being sought after by Prep schools for a scholarship, At 6 foot 3 inches and a fit 215 pounds and athletic it was not a surprise.  I wonder what kind of a hockey player this kid would have been if he didn’t quit the game.  At 10 years old he was discouraged and driven out of the sport. Fortunately he found another that he would excel at.

Minor Hockey leaders and parents have to “wake up” and tell it like it is.  Minor hockey is not about developing NHL players. It is about developing life skills through teamwork and learning to work hard, respecting your opponent and the officials IT is about learning from winning and losing.

Win – Win coaching is about trying your best to win on the score clock but not at the expense of the growth and development of all players. When you win a game but shorten the bench you lose the spirit and self esteem of players who have not yet developed like my nephews and the 15-year-old Football player who quit hockey.

Goggle the “Positive Coaching Alliance”, a USA sports organization that is leading the way in the USA helping establish a healthy perspective and providing numerous resources for associations, parents and coaches to use to serve the “good of the game.”


Kudos to the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association for dealing with this issue.

 

Posted by Rex Tucker | Post a Comment

Date: 21/2/2014 3:38 PM UTC

February 20th marks the 12th Anniversary and February 23rd marks the First Anniversary of the passing of Leslie Richard Kavanagh and Raymond Laurence Tucker.

Time has passed, life goes on, daily tasks get taken care of, but your memories linger. You'll suddenly come to mind at the oddest times, other times we'll think about you while doing something because it was something you liked, or didn't, or had an opinion on or about. Then there's those times when you ever so slowly come to the forefront of our minds, during our quiet times, the times when we're not not using our brains to think about the next task to complete, what I need to do tomorrow, what to make for supper... Since we're already doing nothing, we sit and let the memories float through our minds, at their own pace, sometimes smiling, other times laughing, an odd time one tear leaks out of the corner of one eye.

You taught us so much; compassion, ethics, accountability, passion... Did you know that? Did we take the time to convey our deepest gratitude to you for being in our lives? As your children, did we become the adults you thought we'd be? As babies, our futures were endless, did we accomplish what you wished for us?

We find ourselves doing things similar to what or how you did things. Our facial expressions when reacting to something mimic those of yours! We can hear you in our heads, giving words of wisdom, caution, congratulations, jubilations! At times we wish for your presence, just to see what we've accomplished, not to get praise or a pat on the back, but to just see.

Thanks Dads, you are missed.
Ray Tucker, November 9, 1931 to February 23, 2013
Les Kavanagh September 4, 1955 to February 20, 2001

Posted by Rex Tucker | Post a Comment

Date: 19/2/2014 4:29 PM UTC


Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are in full swing and all going well, we could see both of Team Canada's Hockey Teams arrive home with the gold. It’s fair to say that we have experienced some nail-biting moments as hockey fans down through the years at the Winter Olympics – from Crosby’s goal in overtime at the 2010 games in Vancouver to our impressive 2002 victory against the U.S.A in Salt Lake City.

We take a look back in history to bring you five of the most memorable Canadian Olympic hockey moments of all time – both good and bad.

1932 – U.S.A vs. Canada Triple Overtime

Playing the gold medal game outdoors in Lake Placid, New York, the American and Canadian men battled through six periods of play, deadlocked at 2-2 after regulation. As darkness fell, the game was actually called off, giving Canada the title based on their overall tournament record.

1994 – Sweden Steals the Show

Arguably one of the most dramatic goals in Olympic history, Swede Peter Forsberg shattered the hearts of many Canadians with his stunning cross-body feint in the seventh round of the 1994 shootout. Sweden carried on to win its first Olympic gold medal.

1998 – Czech Goaltender Hasek Dominates

With just over a minute left in their 1998 semi-final match with the Czech Republic, Team Canada found themselves down 1-0 and in need of a late equalizer. Trevor Linden managed to get an important goal past Czech goaltender Dominik Hašek which led to overtime and eventually, a shootout. Unfortunately, Team Canada went on to lose (with Wayne Gretzky famously not selected as one of five players to shoot).

2002 – Joe Sakic’s Goal

Super Mario’s famous pass led to the opening goal of the 2002 gold medal match, but it was another heroic Canadian who would seal the win. With Team Canada up 4-2 in the final few minutes, “Burnaby Joe” Sakic made a very impressive deke on American goalie Mike Richter. It was his second goal and fourth point of the game, locking up Canada’s first men’s Hockey gold medal in 50 years.

2010 – Sidney Crosby’s Goal

Possibly one of the most memorable moments in Canadian Olympic history, Sidney Crosby‘s gold medal-clinching goal versus the USA in the Vancouver 2010 finals will never be forgotten. Team Canada led 2-1 with only 30 seconds separating them from the gold medal, when the USA equalized and forced overtime. Just over seven and a half minutes into OT, Crosby buried a goal into the net and sealed Canada’s 2nd gold medal in the NHL era.

As you can see from the above memorable moments, Hockey is a thrilling sport and is suitable for people of a range of ages. If you want to develop your hockey skills or wish to begin taking hockey classes for the first time, Tucker Hockey is here to share it's passion and love of the game and help you achieve your hockey goals.

Posted by Rex Tucker | Post a Comment

 

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