EDITORIAL: Reality check required at rink

Hockey is the best game in the world. At the minor hockey level, let’s keep it in perspective.

Chill, minor hockey parents, just chill.

It’s that time of year again, when arenas fill with the sounds of our national game. Unfortunately, not all the sounds we hear in the rinks come from the ice.

Most minor hockey parents get it. They are there to support their children, and his/her teammates, in a positive way. There are some, however, who need to re-think why they are at the rink.

It’s better now, for sure. We are more educated about the harm that can be done by bullies and loudmouths. Our coaches and volunteers go through more rigorous background checks. And the Internet, with its ability to share videos, has a policing effect too.

Still there are some in the crowd who believe their kid is going to make the NHL. Or the Western Hockey League. Or get a scholarship. The odds of a minor hockey player in this country making the NHL are worse than one in 4,000, according to research done recently in Ontario, where almost half of Canada’s minor hockey players reside.

It’s OK to chase a dream. As long as it’s the kid’s dream. And it can happen.

Once a parent looks past the almost ridiculous notion of an end-game that includes riches or a free education, the real advantages of playing minor hockey become more apparent.

There is teamwork and loyalty to be learned. These kids also learn how to behave in restaurants and hotels. They also look great in suits. They are taught that nothing comes without hard work and commitment. They learn there are ramifications for poor behaviour. In short, they learn life lessons they will be able to use off the ice their entire lives, while also learning how to play a game they can play their entire lives.

It’s the best game in the world. At the minor hockey level, let’s keep it in perspective.

Parksville Qualicum News