Leave a Comment?


24-7 Hockey

By: Coach Posted on: 5/6/2017 10:54:46 AM Subject: Play other sports

Too Much Ice Hockey

Burning 'em out!

How much is too much!

But what about those kids who are die-hard hockey addicts? The ones that watch hockey when they are not playing hockey? The ones that have every NHL xBox game ever released? When is it time to pull in the reins? To simply say, time to do something else? This is a hard call to make for many reasons for sure.

Hockey is one of those sports where the prospect of a hockey career can actually begin at an early age. It is one of those of sports where you have to learn to skate before you can even participate in the game. It is sort of like learning how to play soccer when you are just learning to walk. A better skater gets more puck touches, plays with more confidence and can shine one year while the rest of the group catches up the next. A player can have a 50 goal season as a squirt and fall behind as a pee wee. The point is that in the great sport of hockey kids develop at different paces. One element or learned skill a player can retain and improve upon from year to year is play development.

What is a healthy level of interest and commitment a young player is willing to make? If you are doing something you love then the commitment is a given. This love for the game has to be nurtured and supported. Hockey should be a positive seasonal event. And when the season is over play baseball, play lacrosse. And in the summer participate in a clinic or camp to keep the interest in playing in mind as well as hone skills. Doing another sport works different muscle and motor skills. Games like lacrosse have very similar concepts of time and space and can reinforce team concepts. All in all doing other things simply creates desire and prevents hockey burn-out. You never know, your young on may even fall in love with another sport.

There are things that a parent can do to prevent hockey burn-out. There are also things that a parent can do that will encourage it as well. 

  1. Remember your youngster has one coach
  2. The ride home from the rink is a long one so use the time wisely
  3. Focus on the team and your youngsters contributions to it.
  4. Little elephants have big ears and hear derogatory statements first.


Is there a desire to not play?

The first thing is to look for signs of burning out on hockey. The little signs that become fairly obvious to everyone else. Although the one person in any family that has the 411 on every family situation is mom, these burn-out signs get missed all the time. Why is this? Because when it comes to hockey Dad seems to dictate what where and when. For many families hockey is a second generation sport. Hockey being around for over a hundred years as the first ever indoor ice hockey game was played on March 3, 1875 at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal. One of the lessons I have learned overtime is that not every player shares the same level of enthusiasm for the game as I. The same is true in the family dynamic. Figuring the bounds of that level of interest is very important. Mom may view the youth hockey experience completely different then dad. Dad may see Bobby Orr rushing through the neutral zone while mom sees little Jonny staggering up the ice dawning an oversized yet colorful uniform.

Signs of Burn-Out!

What to Look for!

  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Fatigue or difficulty waking up in the morning
  • Poor performance in sports, school, or other activities
  • Loss of interest
  • Unusual focus on aches and pains during a hockey event
  • Problems with friends
A sure tell indicator is the lack of emotion after a win or a loss.

When should it Start?

I have seen players begin learn to skate at age 3. If they want to be there they will let you know. If they don't they will let you know as well. I guess that is why they call them mites. It is because they mite want to play and they mite not. Sometimes starting too early can have a negative effect and instill a bad hockey memory at an early age. Running down to the local hockey shop and purchasing a complete gear setup at 3 years old is ill advised at best. That first day on the ice is a memory that will stick with a person. The best first day should be one like mine. A day on a pond skating with my dad, a stick and a puck. Thrusting a youngster into a learn to skate program can be quite intimidating.

The Finished Product!

I think that there should be goals set early on. At age 3 it might be a favorite drink from the soda machine after the session. At age 10 it might be if the hotel pool will still be open after game one in an away tournament. At age 12 things start to change. And it is those early years that will direct that change. Around age 10-12 the youngster's self image becomes important. Does this young one define themselves as a hockey? Does this hockey player want to set goals that will benefit them within the game of hockey. For the vast majority of all hockey players is Men's League. So keep their expectations in check, set reasonable goals and let nature take it's course.
Powered By goallinehockey.com

9/27/2017 10:23:20 AM

Burn-out is so prevalent in hockey as parents tend to push kids to perform. I have found over the years that non hockey parents, parents who did not play, push harder for some reason

9/27/2017 12:58:43 PM

I love to play hockey. As a kid I could never get enough ice time. I would skate all day Saturday on ice the Fire Department would freeze for us. They would flood the tennis courts and parents would provide lighting for us. the only reason I got off the ice was to go to hockey practice. I think it comes down to the kids for sure.

You Need to Login or Register to post Comments.