Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good Game?

Scene I: Second Period Intermission – West Vancouver Arena - Atom A game. Home Team is up 4-1, the game is well in hand with the West Van kids outplaying the other team quite badly for two straight periods.

As the players take the ice for the 3rd period the timekeeper plugs 7:00 into the clock – an abbreviated period to stay within the allotted ice time.

Scene II: Final buzzer. Home Team LOSES 5-4 after surrendering 4 straight goals in a spectacular collapse featuring ZERO back checking and substandard efforts from every player.

Scene III: Home Dressing Room. Kids seem totally unfazed by the loss, laughing, fooling around, smiling… As parents enter and greet their children the following phrases are heard, "Great job out there!", "You guys played great!", "Nice effort!"

Background: These are kids (9-10 years old) who take hockey seriously, have a coach who teaches them break-out plays, has players arrive in shirts and ties with jerseys on hangars 60 minutes prior to game time for warm-up.

Question: You walk over to your son/daughter who, like everyone else, showed little effort in the third period, what do you say and why?

~MJ

3 comments:

J Thiessen said...

I would tell my son that as long as he is part of a team he needs to put a FULL effort in.

Growing up (I can barely remember) but I'd like to think that 9 was old enough for me to hear the tough message when I wasn't giving it my all.

Anonymous said...

I say nothing unless my kid asks me how he thinks they did or he played.

However, I approach the coach and ask him what he said and how he intends to address the level of play and effort.

While the good ole 'they are only 9 and 10' is well intentioned, there is also a responsibility to the investment of effort that can't be taught early enough. We will presume this is spring hockey, hence parents have continued to pay for their child's development and there is only one caveat to that investment. Effort. It's not about outcome. It is about effort.

MJ said...

Thanks JT and Anonymous.

The situation I described was inspired by something I saw in Spring hockey but could have just as easily been from the "regular season" or "playoffs" recently concluded.

I like your takes...