Be Careful With Advice from Armchair Experts
Posted by Dean Holden at April 15th, 2015
by Mike Boyle, 21 March 2015
“He who seeks the counsel of fools is a fool himself”
This is a cautionary tale. Be careful with taking advice from your son or daughters youth sport coach. Although today’s example comes from the hockey world, bad advice in youth sports is probably more common than good advice.
Please note: I have the utmost respect for most youth sport coaches. My kids have been lucky to have some great ones. With that said, I have also heard and continue to hear some real horror stories. Here’s the latest.
PS- This a direct quote from an email I received from a former BU athlete. I did not edit this. Please also note, the following advice was given to the parents of a 2007 birth year child, yes a seven year old.
“A lot of parents have asked me what their child can do to become a better player. It starts in the spring and the summer. Hockey is a 12 month sport. If you “put the bag away” I can guarantee you to expect being at the bottom level of whatever team your child makes next year. Kids get better by playing more. If anyone tells you otherwise they do not know the game. I am proud to be apart of program that offers as many opportunities as this one does to have your child on the ice as much as possible. ”
The advice above is absolute insanity that runs contrary to every piece of research we have seen. This guy is 100% wrong. A seven year old should absolutely “put the bag away” and play soccer, lacrosse or baseball in the spring. Please do your homework. Early specialization is the biggest mistake you can make. There are at least 10 blog posts on this site from great coaches and great athletes espousing the direct opposite advice this “coach” is giving. If your child is seven, I beg you, please “put the bag away”.