This is not my usual scrappy post today, but I need to get something off my chest where hopefully I won't offend anyone.
Why is it not okay for me to want my kids to be challenged, even pushed, by their hockey coaches to learn and become better players? I don't have any false expectations of my son or daughter playing at an elite level. I'm not asking coaches to turn them into superstars. I do expect to see my kids work hard at every practice and play their best at every game. I'm not spending a small fortune on hockey every season for them to just have fun. And you know what, my kids agree with me! They want to be challenged, they don't want to take it easy. I firmly believe if players are challenged to do their best and they see improvement in their skills as the season goes on, they take pride in that and that is where their fun comes from. I started my kids in hockey because it is a competitive sport that can teach them important lessons in teamwork as well as pride in individual accomplishment. Not to mention improve their fitness level. My son set a goal last year for himself to get as many goals as the number on his jersey (37) and he was justifiably proud when he exceeded it and scored 40 goals. Guess what his goal is this year? To get at least 41 goals. I like that he is learning to compete against himself as well as other players. Unfortunately it seems like individual accomplishment is something else that is frowned upon nowadays. There are coaches who won't award the medals for 'Most Improved', 'Most Sportsmanlike' and 'Most Dedicated' because they think the other players would feel left out. It's too bad they don't ask the players for their opinion because I know they would like to have the recognition. If they don't win a medal this year, it gives them something to work towards next year. A player who has never played hockey and can barely skate at the start of the season that improves to be one of the best skaters on the team certainly deserves to be rewarded. I don't understand how that can be bad.