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There Is No Team in Me!

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. 

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.

Changing Hockey Culture: Are We Reaching A Tipping Point?

Playing the game of ice hockey within the rules would seem like a simple concept.  Yet all efforts to accomplish this objective have thus far proven elusive, from the NHL all the way down to the youngest levels.  In a previous post I reported that Minnesota Hockey has retained the much harsher penalties for two of the three most dangerous plays in the game. In fact, Minnesota has the toughest rules in youth and high school hockey in the country. The question is, will this be enough to change the culture of the sport?

Playing the game of hockey within the rules would seems like a simple concept. Yet all efforts to enforce the rules have thus far proven elusive.  Will making the rules for dangerous play tougher be enough to change the culture? This coming season may be the tipping point.

The Future of Ice Hockey: What Kind of Game Do We Want?

What kind of game do we want ice hockey to be? Do we want a very physical game with lots of hitting from behind and head contact or do we want the game we once had, a game of skill and respect along with legal physical play?

The game of ice hockey has not always been played as it is now. Checking was not permitted by attacking players in the offensive zone until the mid 1970’s. The center red line created another point that slowed the game down a bit and there was no tag-up offsides, so defensemen actually had to learn some skills to survive in neutral ice until their linemates got back onside.

What is the future of youth ice hockey? Will it continue to be a game of illegal hits to the hitting, interfering, intimidation, and trash-talking opponents, or one rewarding speed, skill, and physical play within the rules?  Only time will tell.

Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

USA Hockey continues to expand their American Development Model (ADM) that is intended to provide youth players a better quality of experience in the game, higher skill levels, and a safer environment that will attract and retain more players. The model is tested in other parts of the world, makes lots of sense for kids, and it has the support from many disciplines in the medical field. Hockey associations and clubs around the country are quickly adopting the concepts and ideas although some are fearful of the changes that are required. The interesting part of all of this is that many of these ideas have been around for a long time and only now are they organized into a coherent long term development program for youth players and older athletes.

The Times They are A changing

As Bob Dylan is often quoted," The Times they are a changing", is especially true in youth ice hockey across the world. 

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