Not much of quality has come from the Toronto Sun Sports section in recent memory. However Bill Lankhoff’s week long feature on youth hockey is REALLY GOOD. As a father and uncle/friend of those with kids playing hockey in Toronto I have experienced every possible angle on the subject.
My son (little TSM) is in house league. He plays almost every Saturday morning. His league offers a clinic every other Monday night at 7pm. I try to take him to a skating/skills clinic every Sunday afternoon. Little TSM is 6. I consider myself to be mild with respect to time spent at the rink.
My eldest brother’s 2 sons are at a rink 4 times a week. 2 games and 2 practices. He has the right attitude about the time spent. His kids are part of a team, they do their homework right when they come home from school because they have to get to the rink. For him and his kids it’s about teaching dedication, work ethic and the overall experience. He and his wife are realistic about what if anything this means for their kids.
Others out there are not so realistic. Me, my hope for both of my kids that they find a sport or sports that they love to play and that they compete at the highest possible level they can or want. i am more concerned that they get to appreciate and learn the experience more then the mastering the sport itself. Mrs. TSM and I aren’t living under the delusion of sports grandeur for either of our kids. I have seen first hand others who are. If I could waive my magic wand for my kids, it would be that they are able to compete for a university or college. I realize however that there are no magic wands and each of my children will do the best they can at whatever they choose to endeavor.
So for those of you with different ideas, here is the gem from Lankhoff’s piece today… The numbers should at the very least dull your cut throat attitude and perhaps you will relax just a little bit…
Playing in the GTHL last year
Playing at GTHL AAA level
GTHL grads in OHL this season
Grads drafted by NHL in 2008
Draft picks who played in NHL this year (Alex Pietrangelo)
“One big mistake parents make is that (when their child is) nine or 10, they start to think: ‘Oh, maybe my kid can get a scholarship, I’ll invest in that’ when the reality is that, in Ontario, there may be only 70 (boys) from this province who are on scholarships right now,” Stellick says. “That’s minuscule considering the number of kids playing the game.”
Good odds? I don’t think so….. Love your kids and appreciate them every day…Push them to be good people not what you weren’t able to be.
The rest of the article is here….