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  1. […] Early specialization and year-round training is destroying youth hockey | Get Sport IQ […]

    • Leslie says:

      What happened to going to the outdoor rink and just playing for the sake of have some fun, being outdoors and MOST IMPORTANTLY JUST BEING A KID. We have lost so much of play out of our childhoods. Playing is where we learn a lot of the social constructs of society. No wonder our world is becoming more competitive and win at all cost attitudes.

      I also referee basketball and I have tossed fans because they are abusive to their own kids and to others. The sad reality is they often play better when the parent is removed from the game.

    • Jason says:

      This is an open door! Is it good that it’s open or is it a bad thing?
      Everything where you have to put “too” in front is bad: too much eating, too much drinking, too much training. Year-round training is not a bad thing, too much year-round training is a bad thing. When is year-round training becoming too much? This happens when players getting fatigue, losing interest en joy in the sport.
      When something is good it’s not necessary a bad thing not doing it. Letting kids participate in different sports is a good thing and could make them better. Not letting kids participate in different sports does not necessary mean that they are bad in the only sport they participate! Second of all the result of participating in different sports could result in an average development in all the sports a kid is participating, without the chance of becoming over average in the one sport they like the best! And last but not leased: Becoming good in a sport means spending time to practice the sport, participating in more sports en trying to get better means that the chance to spend too much time in sports is getting much bigger!
      Until the age of 9 and 10 children have a natural ability of automatically learning motoric abilities (walking, running, throwing, riding a bike, etc). A child that practices Ice Hockey has above average motorics skills. At first my kids only started playing Ice Hockey, during the years they started playing soccer at school, went skiing, playing golf, swimming, etc. All from the start above average! Why? Ice Hockey is a way of life. You love it or you hate it. When you love it, you take Avery opportunity to do it. The discipline that is expected from hockey players is totally different than in other sports. Often I hear trainers and coaches of other sports being impressed by the discipline and dedication of hockey players participating in their sports.

      The conclusion “The most unfortunate consequences of early specialization include the epidemic of overuse injuries and the psychological burnout that many players experience” and the linkage with year-round training is totally misplaced.
      Early specialization and year-round training have nothing to do with injuries and psychological burnout. Too much training, overloaded training and playing schedule of (multiple) sport(s) is killing. Whatever de sport is, coaches, trainers and parents have to take care that the sport is not becoming “too-much” for the children. And that depends on de psychological and physical state and abilities of the individual child and cannot be generalized as is described in this article.

  2. Ryan Barnes says:

    This was posted on Mark Ciacco’s Facebook page. Mark is now skating coach of NY Rangers after 12 years with Phoenix Coyotes

  3. Randy Edmonds says:

    After spending 15 years in Sweden coaching Pro and now a Hockey dad in Toronto Pee Wee hockey not sure if I agree 100% .Most young players I know play other sports and playing on outdoor rink for hours never seems to get negative criticism.
    I will say pressure of winning at 7 yrs old might have more to do with it .Playing a Pro style game in Novice or Atom to help the coaches winning percentage is doing it .Players sitting on bench ,pressure from parents , coaches to win and perform at a young age turns kids off our sport at some point .At some point kids choose another sport where they can have fun .
    Having more play and fun at young ages and enjoying the game keeps kids in the game longer in my opinion .

    Coaches want kids to play a Pro style get pucks deep and off the glass seems to be the recipe to win at the kids of the kids enjoyment .Recruiting at 7-8 yrs old and stacking teams to win at all cost is turning kids off our game .

    Randy Edmonds

    • Paul Lewis says:

      I totally agree with Randy, to many parents think that 7-8 yr old children can play a 10-12 yr old game, just because they can skate, but they do not think about the emotional part of the child, the parent/parents only think about the bragging part saying , well my kid can out skate your kid, an most of the time either the Mother or the Father is on the bench, making sure that their children see more ice time because they are coaches, or some sort of bench helpers, I think a player progresses well within their own age group, an they will all progress together, emotions run high for children when being pushed over the limit, pushing a button for progress is not the answer, developing together is the key for young hockey players.

  4. Rick Baraniuk says:

    Josh, I have to respectively disagree with your article about year round training. Like anything in life if you want to become really good or even a professional at something you must properly train over and over again. I have been coaching hockey players and instructing Hockey Canada Coaching Clinics for over 25 years and I have had the opportunity to train many hockey players year round. Players such as Patrick Sharp, 112, 13 and 14 years of age hockey teams, summer and winter. Taylor Pyatt, Alex Auld and many players that have played in Europe. The formula I used was intense practices followed by a competition, but there were also fun events at each practice, either before or after. But year long training is not for all athletes. It is for only the athletes that want to become elite athletes.

    • Bill says:

      After coaching for 25 years, you name a handful of kids that are successful lifelong hockey players. As a father of 2 hockey playing boys, I can pull out many more names of boys who once they got to the elite level in our little community quit the game all together.

      My boys play the top tier and every year I ask that they be moved down to a lower tier to accommodate all their other sports and school. Each year they tell me no, the league wouldn’t allow it. Each year, I tell the coaches he may miss as he is also a top tier player in other club sports and a school sport participant and they tell me they will take them any way they can get him. Within a month the coaches are complaining that they don’t know how they will ever keep up with the other boys that are doing extra training several times a week with both hockey and soccer . Every year they make tier 1, AAA or premier. And we have had a handful of coaches say,as you have’ It is for only the athletes that want to become elite athletes.” I think that our boys are considered elite athletes by every standard except by the guy that is selling some extra training on the side. I think they are motivated by a love of sport and competition. And they identify themselves as so much more than just a hockey player. Year round elite training changes growing bodies, puts adult stress on teenage brains and doesn’t let them grow up with any other identity or sense of worth. Where would they find the time? When the time comes I am confident that they will chose a single sport to specialize in and they will continue to excel

    • Jodi says:

      I guess, looking at it from a coaching, parent standpoint, and also the player standpoint…WHO is pushing these kids? I see it all the time, the parents are the ones who WANT the kids to do all of this off-season stuff and not the kids. The kids are always told they have a choice until the parent steps in and signs them up for things. the kids don’t perform and the parent(s) get upset. I agree that if it is what the kids want to do but when the parents/coaches put too much pressure on the kids, the desire to play will continue to decrease.

      One model we looked at in MN was the amount of kids playing. From mite/U8 an example number was 250,000 kids playing. By the squirt/U10 it cut in half, pee-wee/U12 cut in half again and by the time the kids are in jr. high/h.s., it was cut even further. Could this be because the game is no longer FUN?! I sure believe so. Too many coaches are expecting perfection at young ages and also calling U8/mite teams “A” and “B” teams…more for the parents ego than what the kids even need to know.

    • Craig Shaw says:

      I agreed with every point except the last. From my neck of the woods, Jamie Benn just made Team Canada. Until he was 16 or 17 he was hoping for a baseball career. When he didn’t get drafted into baseball, he said, oh well, I guess it’s hockey then. He played a lot of ball hockey informally with his brother, who is also an NHL, at the local tennis court in the off season, however.

      Walter Gretzky claims to have locked up the boy’s hockey gear once it was baseball and lacrosse season.

      Although some make it big as year rounders, many others choose to do other activities and still find a way to become elite.

      Let us not forget about burnout and overuse injuries as well.

  5. Mark Arnold says:

    Great article. I’m not a hockey guy, but I see a lot of young athletes missing basic movement patterns. With year round training, kids are missing out on learning other sports and approaching each “season” with renewed vigour.

  6. Eddy says:

    First let me say that the most over looked aspects of training at any level now a days is recovery and nutrition. If the athlete is constantly hounded by overuse injuries, then there is not enough recovery time in their program. If the athlete lacks energy or seems tired, then the nutrition should be looked at. The combination of poor nutrition and a lack of recovery time can lead to some very detrimental effects emotionally, physically and mentally. Over training and over instruction is the big problem in our game today. On a side note, anyone who says that 7 or 8 year old can gain muscle hypertrophy should be banded from training young athletes. The hypertrophic phase does not happen until puberty. What can be trained at the younger ages is their neurological system. This the system that coordinates the muscular system. In a sense it gets all the oars in the water and syncs the cadence of the stroke, another way to look at it is, all the muscles will be pull on the rope in sequence.. Even still, the rest, recovery and nutritional aspects must be in place for the training to have any positive effect at all.

  7. Chris Kay says:

    Hey Josh,
    Good article. Glad to hear you are helping inform parents (the most important people). Please inform yourself and push people towards the principles of the Canadian sport for life and Long term athlete development model. It has all of the answers to everything you are talking about here. Hockey Canada has developed it’s own LTAD model, but most minor hockey organizations have clearly ignored… And in fact continued to move in the opposite direction. Great work and keep it up. Build athletes first, hockey players (or other) second. Even if you don’t make the show, strong fundamental movement skills will lead to a long healthy life!

  8. Coach John says:

    Josh, I could not agree with you more.
    I have coached high level and competitive hockey for almost 25 years with at least the last 15 at peewee and from day one I have always told my players and their parents that athleticism trumps everything in all sports and the wee rounded athlete will usually excel especially when they get older.
    I can not tell you how many times I have heard a bantam or high school parent saying something along the lines of, ” my son was awesome and on all the AAA teams when he was younger so how can those ‘B’ and ‘C’ players be better than him now?” Of course those kids are usually well-rounded and played several sports and enjoyed the games instead of just dwelling on winning or working on specific skills at the younger ages.
    At tryout time, I shock parents who constantly would ask me what and/or where their child should go to camp or what team should they tryout for and my stock answer was, “ask your child what he/she wants” which of course would cause a hockey parent’s head to explode.

  9. ulfjens says:

    Maybe. I see the lack of floorball in school as the main difference between the best performing nations and north America. But sure #LTAD is good it makes sense and it is a proven track. With floorball you have think outside of, well… the rink. 😉

    • Craig Shaw says:

      Interesting. I have a group of about 4 kids who have been playing floorball and hockey with me for about 4 years. They are all exceptional puckhandlers and think the game very quickly as well. There might be something to that.

  10. Hockey Dad says:

    Lets not act like hockey is the only sport that has kids specializing. That is happening in most of the 4 major sports. Remember, not every child will be be a great athlete or stick to a sport to the point where they are All Star quality. Also, why do we as parents, coaches, and Hockey Directors speak out of both sides of our mouths? Take a look around and how many spring leagues, camps, weekly clinics are there? They exist because kids sign up for them. The key here is to let your kids have fun, ask your kid often if they are having fun. If they are not enjoying that sport, change things up a bit. At the end of the day, this is about the child and not the parent.

    • Jodi says:

      I agree but remember it is the parents who are signing these kids up regardless if the kids want to go or not.

      I very much agree that the kids need to have fun and if they are not…change it up!

      • Long Time Observer says:

        Yes ultimately it is the parents who decide, some are very competitive vicariously through the child, but many are forced to ‘commit 100%’ to the team, league etc or their child is not taken as a serious contender. They are almost obligated to attend the ‘hockey’ camps etc all summer long, to keep or or if only to get a half step ahead of the others.

    • SE Coach says:

      One word: Entrepreneurs

  11. Hockey Dad says:

    I have yet to see guidelines for kids practicing hockey. What is too much training?

    Is 8 hours a week (during the season) on the ice too much for a 6 year old? If it were up to my child, he would skip school to play hockey.

    Looking back at my childhood, we spent about 10 hours a week on the football field. Now, kids are on the field (in all sports) are practicing much more then that.

    So the question remains? How much is too much during the season? What about March through August (off season)? And I would assume this varies by age. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Craig Shaw says:

      At about 8 or under, 3 hours of structured time a weak tops for a given sport. If they choose to play more informally that is their choice. Between 9 and 12, you can bump it up to 4 hours a week and but more in their teens. The great athletes generally will play other sports or practice a main sport on their own and are self-motivated. Although there are cases where parents have successfully pushed their kids to success, I believe that it doesn’t work very often. The kids should be driving the bus.

    • Jodi says:

      To answer your question, 8 hrs a week is way too much for a 6 year old.

      Ask any kid if they would rather go play than be in school…what do you expect an answer to be?

      When you over-train a kid, they lose the desire to play especially if THEY don’t want to be there. The problem with parents (and I am speaking on a parent/coach/athlete view) is that these games are more for the parents than the kids. Just look in the stands…parents getting upset over their kid not getting on the team THEY think they should be on, getting upset with coaches, refs, etc…It isn’t the kids getting upset.

      Each association is different in how they handle ice times and it primarily depends on how much ice is available with the number of teams. Games, once played, are determined by the district and USA hockey (and state hockey assns.), but regarding practice, it’s really up to the association.

      As a coach and parent, it is my responsibility that the kids have fun out on the ice and want to come back. I will never force a player or yell at a player for not doing something right…they are not pros.

  12. Gerry says:

    I see so many AAA. Hockey players quite playing competitive hockey by early teens.

    • Jeremy says:

      Attrition in all sports in the teens is a serious problem. If there are more kids left out, then left it, why isn’t there more attention spent on servicing those kids? Seems like a good business plan.

  13. john says:

    Great article

  14. Jeff McKee says:

    I’m a long time coach – multiple sports. We have forgotten that we’re making men & women. The sport isn’t important. Team work, team goals, individual goals, responsibility to the group, social skills… are the benefits. Belonging to a group, sharing time with friends… Sport is a practice for regular life skills. This seems dreadfully forgotten by many families.

    There are not more ‘professional sport jobs’. In rural Canada, many potential participants are steadily being pushed from participation. Amalgamations result in fewer teams, as the derby to recruit your buddies is eliminated. The sharing with buddies continues to be ruined.

    Additionally, those that participate in the high end programs, are not guaranteed to become better players than those that do not.

    Specialization makes me sad. We aren’t producing better human beings.

  15. David says:

    As a PE teacher, I see so many of these kids tap out of their dominant sport just when they need them most – right at the start of puberty. Well rounded athletes, who play several sports, even if it’s just on a school yard or pick up level, have so many more options,because they have a basic familiarity with many sports. It’s a rare kid that will try out a new sport at 13 or 14 years of age.

    I’d love for parents to remember that they are not raising up their kids to play hockey so they can hit the NHL – I hope you’re putting your kids in sport so they can develop healthy, fun exercise habits for their entire lives. Specializing them at an early age means they believe they can only be good at one sport, and whe they drop out of that one, they often don’t have the confidence to pick up another.

  16. Jason says:

    There are good parts to this story and then some that just don’t make sense. One is assuming all the kid does is play hockey. They swim, rides bikes, play baseball, soccer. Even if hockey is their dominant sport, the important piece is that they like it, are active, and are not pressured to play. Hockey in Canada is a big part of life. Even schools will relax studies and allow the class to watch Canada in the big game. Kids are not just getting it from their parents…its in the blood line of the nation. What is ruining youth hockey is the affordability. Its way too expensive for the average Canadian family. And those who can afford it…will spend more money on hockey in a lifetime than your kids education. One thing for sure…my child will not reduce his physical activity in any sport just to pick up an xbox controller to substitute.

  17. HappinessSavouredHot says:

    Thank you for writing this. I read similar arguments about 15 years ago, when I was a swimming coach: do not specialize the kids too early.

    I saw a few very talented swimmers leave the sport altogether after crushing many records… because they were fed up with the pressure. Their age at the time of “resigning” was between 10-12 years old. What a loss.

    I really hope children get more free time (NOT in front of a screen) as a general thing.

    From happinessdishbestsavouredhot.blogspot.com

  18. theresa louiselle says:

    Really interesting.

  19. John L says:

    Great article. I once played at all the highest levels of rep and further. It was great. We closed the rinks down in April and we went and played ball, golf, went to the beach. Yes there was some who could afford those few August hockey camps. We didn’t have big budgets. We didn’t travel every second weekend. We were lucky if we could carpool and get enough kids to the rink. I loved and breathed hockey. Today to see a rare glistening finish on the lake was breathtaking taking me back to the thousands of hours I spent on them. I went on and played further and coached and officiated.

    I haven’t been involved in over 20 years other than twice a week shinny in WINTER only. My kids don’t play and that’ is fine. If they wanted to I would of obliged.

    So let me take this article a step further. I think the year round hockey is ridiculous. In Canada a lot of the spring and summer is for profit. I think the intense tourney schedules for teams over the course of a winter is way too much. Matter of fact hockey has become one of the most elite team sports in Canada.

    I think we are burning out kids in post puberty also. If I had my way every hockey rink in the country would shut down for all minor hockey may 1 to sept 1 every year.

    But I guess the argument would be we would lose ground on other countries training year round. Oh well. As I told my 4 year old son one day while sitting in the rink that was only 15o yards from my home, only one in 10,000 kids make the NHL, after he asked me about a 13 year old we were watching skate circles around kids much older.

    Perhaps that was what turned him off the game. My stats are likely a bit pessimistic. And of course just to add a bit of egg to my face , fast forward 13 years and that 13 year old has doubled his age as he leads the NHL in scoring. I still stand by all my comments and theories.

  20. […] abban, hogy felnőtt korukban igazán jó játékossá váljanak. Az írás teljes terjedelmében itt érhető […]

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    Early specialization in hockey death
    Miklóssy · 2014th January 9 Thursday, 18:35
    What is good and what is hindering the young players that adulthood really become a good poker player. Youth and education in North American eyes.

    Sometimes you stumble across a writing which is really hard to be pushed into permanent thematic list. Still, we feel the importance of communication, even if we are not able to judge the writing professionally. However, I think these are issues that can not be complied with to talk and to be talking down to the Hungarian rising generation. Simple these writings, which can be useful player, parent, perhaps even a part of the coaches. Such was Dr. Stephen R. Norris, the vice-president of the Institute for Canadian winter sports performance, which lasted Vierumakiben and this is the next writing.

    Josh Levine hockey itself has been changed, and in the recruitment and education issues dealing with Princeton University. The strongest claim that premature specialization does not help the children, but actually prevented from adulthood to become really good skill. Writing entirety here can be achieved.

    The author believes that early specialization is usually seen when a child is only concentrating all the power sports branch of puberty, that is roughly 14 years before, in striving to become perfect and to this end, carry a large amount of repetitive and monotonous work, typically throughout the year.

    What’s wrong with that? The problem is manifold. One of the biggest, in addition to a large amount of work in less training time and attention is paid to the fact that children master the sport alapmozdulatait correctly. For example, the emphasis will be on a lot of skating, not technically perfect or near the skating techniques. The next problem is that it does not leave enough time to rest, to recover in case of premature specialization. Third, in spite of beginning to early amazingly hockey specific workouts for kids, this benefit is quite limited, because before puberty the muscles in the long run with little or no improvement.

    The widespread misconceptions include the fact that if the child is the sport’s elite early on, it stays in adulthood. The truth is that the majority of team sports, but especially in hockey, athletes the best performance, compared to only after puberty as exercise. In fact, all the hockey move and thought is so complex that there is no time limit for development, and can not be broken down into the individual components into parts each of which could be improved. Staying with the tournament: there is a more perfect execution of a pre-rehearsed move the goal while skating in hockey, the batting, the ability to read the game and quick decision-making is generally the same moment you need. Early specialization is not conducive to the development of motor skills as widely as possible, either.

    Finally, two factors Levine calls attention to what is perhaps the most damaging of all. One of the injuries before any wider-spread. Children are often injured before that muscles, to get in was finally developed. Many doctors argue that this is partly due to an increasing supply of non-thought-out programs. The other was not a little adverse psychological consequences. More and more kids are so easy to burn out, to stop all kinds of sports, not to mention the invaluable number Athlete who, while on sports, but not lovers will find no pleasure in this.

  21. Ken says:

    Quoting you: “In team sports like hockey, peak performance isn’t reached until post puberty, whereas in gymnasts peak performance is always reached prior to puberty.” The mere fact that you used the word “always” indicates the generalization of the article as you obviously did not include the sport of mens gymnastics. The elite from that sport peak between 20 and 24. DOH!

    • Josh says:

      Dieter Hackfort and Gershon Tenenbaum, in their book Essential Processes for Attaining Peak Performance, write that “gymnasts peak earliest (15-17 years of age)” whereas those in team sports reach “peak performance between 21 and 35 years of age .” In fact, consider that the “highest levels of performance for gymnasts are almost exclusively seen before biological maturation takes place .”

  22. Seb says:

    Interesting article. Surprising comments though, indicating that there is not much awareness in NA regarding this matter. In Switzerland many of our kids who play hockey do also play soccer, tennis and other sports. Even the coaches encourage kids to perform other sports. It is all about the fun-factor and the parents supporting (not pushing!) their kids in whatever sport they do. Furthermore the practice sessions and the games are adjusted to the kids age and size. For both hockey and soccer there are specific and countrywide concepts being applied to develop the kids skills. As a result Swiss Ice Hockey is ranked top eight worldwide (with 27’000 licenced players only, Canada has 574’000) and in soccer they are ranked 8th (with 280’000 licenced players, the US (ranked 14th) have 24’000’000!). Josh is absolutely right!

  23. Morgann Tomlinson says:

    Hmm…I tried not to comment haha.
    We do a lot with hockey, skating and skills but not year round.
    Spring hockey has a bad rep of being super expensive, insanely time consuming and year round! My son plays Spring hockey (with a Friday, Saturday, Sunday-April to June commitment). Fridays is dry land training which seems intense but we do boxing, yoga, and other not specifically “hockey” related activities some just team building. I believe being part of a team and all this helps my son develop life long skills. I am not one of those moms who thinks my son is going to make the nhl. Hockey is what he loves. It is his passion. Some little boys like dinosaurs and their parents drive to drumheller every chance they get and their room is decked out in dinos. When asked if he wants to play soccer or swim or lacrosse he says no hockey! We take the two summer months (because he is in school September to June) to just be kids! I have come across a lot of hockey parents, spring and not most are like us and don’t do anything hockey related all of July and most of August. I believe in challenging your kids and giving them the tools needed to challenge and if next year my son decides to quit hockey and dance I will be paying for extra lessons as well as finding him personal choreographers am I intense?! Perhaps but I am passionate about my kids and their dreams, today, tomorrow and always:)

  24. J.R. says:

    I agree with alot of what this article says and I try to do that with my kids. But the reality is if you want to curb early specialization and year round training, then it is simple, stop taking the year round early specialization kids for the national camps and top tier teams. USA Hockey loves to preach but they do nothing in practice to stop it because the fact is the majority of the “elite” players are year round early specialization players. Sad but true

  25. [ ] un entraîneur de jeunes au hockey souligne que les entraîner au hockey à l’année longue nuit à leur développement en tant qu’athlètes, mais également en tant qu’individus. Il ne s’agit pas ici de dire que les enfants [ ]

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    Article translated from French below – DH

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    Hello, group !

    This week, a youth hockey coach stresses that lead to year-round hockey night in their development as athletes but also as individuals. It does not say here is that children leave school at 12 to embark on heroin full time, but their injuries due to wear and burnout rate ( ” burn- out ” in English !) is unusually high. One can hardly disagree – children have more to develop basic motor patterns rather than control of motor patterns too specific to apply only one activity. For example, children playing hockey not only learn to run correctly. A good running technique is crucial for the overall development of coordination and help in a lot of sports like soccer, ultimate frisbee, or even the summer sport of Wayne Gretzky , lacrosse . Except for very specific sports , young children are able to play freely and be able to try several different activities .

    A zoo in the United Kingdom has banned bananas in the diet of its monkeys . Bananas available at the grocery store are too different ( too sweet ) to those found in nature. According to them , sugar harms monkeys and makes some of them aggressive. Result: since they do not eat bananas , monkeys have fewer problems with teeth, a beautiful fur and have fewer behavioral anti- sociaux.Éviter food because it does not match the diet of a case, I wonder who it could be applied also …

    Skeletons of hunter-gatherers there are 15 000 to 13 000 years that fed predominantly sweet acorns were found and it seems they were all victims of … dental problems. A diet composed primarily of carbohydrates that stick to the teeth favors the presence of harmful bacteria to the teeth , in addition to having a very poor nutrient density . There are two lessons to be learned here . 1 . Humans are probably not made ​​to feed mainly carbohydrates, or when certain types of carbohydrates are not optimal and 2. It is not because some hunter-gatherers did it’s necessarily perfect for our health. Again , eating paleo does not mean living in the past and avoid anything that is new ( I really appreciate my eye surgery laser), but rather use evolution as a reference.

    Finally, a bonus : Emmet Twilight got to paleo for his role as Hercules . If only he knew what animal fat interferes with health !

  26. […] Early Specialization and Year-Round Training is Destroying Youth Hockey-Josh […]

  27. Richard Monette says:

    We have always dominated the world game by pushing kids to learn to compete, to be intense and physical. Nothing wrong with these attributes, but they are not enough anymore. The old norm has become obsolete.

    At events like the World Juniors, we are witnessing a new standard in the game. A “new normal” displayed by countries like champions Finland that play a smart physical game with great intensity, but they also play with ample skills.

    Hockey Canada is aware and ahead of this “new normal” as demonstrated by its long-term player development approach. The next battle is to convince hockey’s grassroots – parents and coaches at the youth level – that we must change our perspective on the game.

    Read the full article: http://activeforlife.com/need-new-normal-for-canadian-kids-hockey/

  28. James says:

    “Early specialization is…engages in high amounts of repetitious, monotonous, deliberate training regimens designed to maximize skill development.”

    That definition of early specialization includes the flawed assumption that it has to be repetitious, monotonous… When you define it that way of course it’s going to be a bad thing. The only way you can succeed in defeating early specialization is if you argue against the best implementation of it.

  29. M W says:

    Success in sports is determined first and foremost by natural born talent. Regretfully, too many parents believe they had that talent – if only they were given the opportunity. The result is adults living vicariously through their kids; resulting in the kids losing the chance to actually play in lieu of training.

  30. Scott A says:

    I agree with this article totally. Let kids be kids. I see too many kids lose their passion for the game by the time they turn 13 0r 14. Even NHL’ers take a break in the summertime

  31. Karen Larche says:

    As long as there is money to be made from selling the dream to the parents that their child is some kind or could be a sports super star with the “right” instruction and amount of ice, parents will keep endorsing all of this. On the flip side, there are indeed some kids that simply LOVE sports, they cannot get enough of them, whether their focus is on many or one. It is a fine balance between truly listening to your child or your ego. Keep it light people, no matter how much you financially and time wise dump into any sport, or desire your child to be the super star you think he/she is (which they are sports or not) they will indeed burn out or simply come to the conclusion that it’s not for them. How many ex Sport super stars have success stories, compared to the sad ones…Better to invest in a balanced healthy brain/body ratio program…School first, sports second. This coming from an mom that can never get her obsessed Goalie kid off the ice. Keep it light, and stay healthy but smart.

  32. Robin says:

    what if we changed the rules a little since there is very little in making changes to the sport of hockey to make it fare for all age groups. How about not allowing a parent on the bench? when parents put on a show from the stands why not penalize them by sending them to another rink and cheering on a child they’ve never met? although subtle, these changes might be enough for parents to see the game from a perspective without their child being the central focus and just might see the game differently.

  33. […] články Brzká specializace a celoroční jednostranný trénink ničí mládežnický hokej a Nevychovávejte specialisty, vychovávejte všežravce na webu Sport IQ nabízí inspiraci k […]

  34. […] un entraîneur de jeunes au hockey souligne que les entraîner au hockey à l’année longue nuit à leur développement en tant qu’athlètes, mais également en tant qu’individus. Il ne s’agit pas ici de dire que les enfants […]

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