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There Is No Team in Me!

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There is a growing crisis in youth and high school hockey, with the the word "team" being replaced by the word "me."  Players and parents of the "Me Generation" are too quick these days to criticize teammates, coaches and others for not recognizing individual talent.  When players arrive at this rink with this type of attitude, the coach has no chance at all unless he or she can somehow change it. 

The selfishness manifests itself in a number of ways: players publicly criticizing other players on the team; parents criticizing theirs son/daughter teammates in public, and criticizing the coaches in front of their children or other parents.  At the high school level in Minnesota, parents are renting homes outside the school district where they live, gaming the high school eligibility system so their son or daughter can play for another school with a better team.  It reminds me of the "Long House" in the Canadian spoof movie, The Tournament.  It is hard to make this stuff up, folks.  

Want another example? How about parents, who don't know how to skate, much less play hockey, demanding that coaches be fired because, in their view, the coach does not know anything.

It goes on and on. 

Kids become the losers 

The real tragedy in all of this is that the kids end up the big losers.  Kids who are never allowed to fail or struggle because their parents are always blaming someone ese for their failures are never forced to face the sometimes harsh reality that they don't actually have the talent their parents have led them to believe they have.  In the long run, they end up being unprepared for dealing with failure, and don't learn one of the most important life lessons hockey - or any sport - is supposed to be teaching.  

There will only be change when parents face up to their responsibilities as parents and let coaches do their jobs.