Some Ground Rules
This Is Meant To Provide Understanding
I feel I need to set some “ground rules” and context for posts to come as I can anticipate some ruffled feathers.
First of all keep in mind that I said from the beginning that I believe involvement in the playing of hockey at an organized level can be one of the best experiences of your life on so many levels. I found however the reality is that more often than not one’s experiences as they move through their hockey life contain both the best and worst imaginable. This is almost certain to be the case if the child shows skill and desire and moves up in the ranks of hockey.
My experiences come from my involvement and time spent coaching in the MTHL ( The Metro Toronto Hockey League ) later to become the GTHL ( The Greater Toronto Hockey League ) as the league expanded and integrated adjoining municipalities and cities. I have a pretty good knowledge of hockey as it exists outside the GTHL in what is generally known as OMHA centers. While my coaching days ended some time ago, I worked as a skills instructor with (what I think is ) the top hockey school in the area for close to fifteen years. Interacting with the kids and their parents have kept me in touch.
While my experience is pretty much centered in the Ontario, Canada hockey scene, I have a strong inclination that my many conclusions hold true wherever hockey is played. Additionally, my inclination is that many of my findings hold true across a variety of other sports.
Although, most of my conclusions are based on the landscape of a few years ago; they hold true today. There have been some changes since those days and I’m aware of them and will deal with those changes in specific future blogs. ( By the way, most of the changes since the “good old days” are not at all positive.)
If you get involved in hockey, you will meet a great many new people. Most will be quite ordinary and pretty decent; although you will also meet a few really exceptional people as well as some real jerks. It would be easy to say that this experience can bring out the best as well as the worst in people. Quite frankly; in my experience, the evidence is that it is more heavily weighted to bring out some of the worst in people’s behavior.
The whole purpose of this exercise is to educate and have an informed “Cannon Fodder”and put an end to the present self-perpetuating system. As I said before, by the time most people have been around long enough to have some of it figured out; it’s too late. Knowledge is the key. Understand the foundation, the nature and the reality of the system. I’m certain that this will drive an improved framework, a better product and therefor a better and rewarding experience for everyone.
Next we get into some meat by beginning to answer the question: “cui bono“?
Much more to come.
Some Ground Rules