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4 Responses so far.

  1. Craig Shaw says:

    I have an eight year old who is a very strong player on a very strong team. He is one of the few on his team that does not play spring hockey as I believe that LTAD has it right in playing a wide variety of sports when you are young and taking long breaks away from the game (4 to 5 months) to play other sports. When he hit the ice for tryouts, several people asked me what he did for hockey all summer as he looked really strong. My answer: swimming, tennis, baseball and riding his bike.

  2. Ice Sage says:

    Agree with Craig – too much, too specialized, too soon. When I read this article, I can’t help feeling for the kid, and her family too, for the childhood opportunities lost.
    These scenarios inevitably lead to burnout, political ostracization (because parents’ belief that they’ve created a star), uncreative / robotic play or, worst of all, Capriati-type rebellion.
    One rest day per week at 7 years old? Borderline abuse 🙁

  3. Jon Woll says:

    What came to us as a story on following a family to understand costs associated with youth hockey, became something entirely different. The story you read is so beyond taken out of context and pieces missing from it that it’s borderline fiction.

    About 2 years later now, mom and I struggle to keep our kid off the ice as her desire and love for the game has grown even more.

    What you see in the story is a kid driven by parents to play and train hockey. Fair enough, because they leave out the soccer, swimming, lacrosse, tennis, and general running around activity she does. Yeah she’s still working out 6 days a week. 2 days of that she’s only in skates. The rest is all fun team orientated drills and games.

    Trust me, mom and I let out the leash as slowly as we could until she fought for more. I can’t tell you the amount of Gopher Women hockey players who love what’s she doing, have done the same things, and wish her to keep doing what she’s doing.

    She is by no means some kind of hockey phenom. What she has is an unparalleled passion for hockey.

    My wife working two jobs to make ends meet. Uh no, she works a second job to pay for student loans. We moved because our costs to fix our home outweighed the value.

    Sigh… media. I should have seen this coming.

    • Dean Holden says:

      Jon, I truly appreciate the time you have taken to provide your perspective here! I understand that a writer comes into a story with certain predispositions and may (or may not) write a story that is influenced by said biases. I will never forget my first-year English teacher at university, who constantly urged us to write factually. He always talked about the line, “just the facts, ma’am” which itself, has been somewhat twisted itself!…

      “Just the facts, ma’am.”
      This, the best known quote from the Jack Webb series Dragnet, was never said by Sgt. Friday in any of the Dragnet radio or television series. The quote was, however, adopted in the 1987 Dragnet pseudo-parody film starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks in which Aykroyd played Sgt. Joe Friday.
      Correct versions:
      “All we want are the facts, ma’am.”
      “All we know are the facts, ma’am.”
      Mikkelson, Barbara and David P. (29 March 2002). Just the Facts. Urban Legends. Retrieved on 2006-12-18.

      Another thing that same professor told us was that there are three sides to every story: his, hers and the truth lies somewhere in between.

      Once again, thank you for sending your message. Feel free to provide any updates in the future. I wish you and your family all the best as I know it is very difficult to oversee a busy multi-sport schedule. The most important thing your daughter has is her passion for the game and it sounds like you and your wife are doing your best to manage that. At the end of the day, training must be her decision (not a decision to please the parents) and the parents need to learn how to responsibly decide what is in her (childhood) best interests, particularly for a late specialization sport.

      Best wishes, Dean

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