Youth hockey is a wonderful thing. It gives children the opportunity to learn and grow, both physically and mentally. It provides wonderful opportunities, keeps kids out of trouble, and is an all-around great sport. With that said, however, youth hockey is not perfect. Like with anything, there are some changes that could be made…changes that would make a huge and hugely positive difference in the sport. And, while everyone has different thoughts and ideas on the changes that need to be made, here are some of the common suggestions from parents, coaches, and even players.
Stop All the “Elite” Events
One thing that parents tend to hate is all of those “elite” events that crop up in the summer months. These things are expensive…after parents have just spent a whole season paying money for hockey-related items. Furthermore, these events are not really necessary. There’s nothing wrong with kids taking a break from hockey in the summer. In fact, it’s actually encouraged. These events are just money-wasters and guilt-inducers if you don’t sign your kid up. That’s how a lot of parents feel, and it’s why they want elite events to stop being pushed so much.
Have Stricter Requirements for Advisers
Another common complaint is about all the people who are popping up these days offering their service as “advisers.” There are definitely some real and really good qualified advisers out there who can serve as sources of guidance and great connections to scouts and recruiters. However, there are also plenty of people who have no business being advisers, who don’t know what they’re doing, and who are just trying to make money. This has led many to suggest that youth hockey needs to develop some standards for who can call themselves “advisers,” believing that this will help protect both parents and players.
Get Rid of Rankings Sites
Finally, in recent years, ranking sites have been cropping up everywhere. These sites use various criteria to determine a child’s ranking and, more often than not, lead to parents and children who are obsessed with their rank. This is silly. Ranks don’t mean anything, especially for young children. Many feel these sites either need to be taken down or at least not advertised so blatantly.
As you can see, there are some suggested changes being discussed in the hockey world. Hopefully, these and other changes will be made soon, but no matter what, hockey is still a great sport…even if it’s not 100% perfect.