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Parents to remember!

Many parents all over the world bring their children to play hockey. They all have different interests and expectations. Same of the parents, for various reasons, more or less competent in this game, the other – “newbies”.

For the coach it is desirable to have to deal with parents like “pawns” than “figures”. From my experience I can say that Havergal College and Toronto French School are private schools, where was studied Galina Smushkin, the daughter of my ex-wife, we were for the teachers of these institutions “not blind kittens”.

Omitting the financial side of an 8-year daughter’s education in these schools, I and my ex-wife, the teachers themselves and have a PHD in psychology and pedagogy, was checking curriculum in these schools. My wife and I, over the years “re-training” our daughter, to what were considered necessary and as a result, in 1997, she graduated from the Toronto French School with honors. In the lobby of the school, on the honor roll for 1997 and to this day have her name.

This article is not for the majority of hockey parents for who “everything is OK” in children’s hockey, but for the minority, who have their own dream and ability to “endure, to fight and not give up” on the way to the cherished goal.

I mean only those parents whose children have sports inclinations and tendencies to athletic ability, responsible for the development of which they take control. Many parents understand that “no magician coach will make their child’s well-known player, but he himself, his natural talent and hard work, along with many other qualities.”

In many types of individual sports are many examples of decisive influence of parents on their children’s athletic development. For hockey parents, only in the period of development of children is much more difficult. Therefore, the role of parents in the career of their son or daughter is much easier in adolescence.

Elite junior hockey, not kids, must be for you and your children – a strategic goal. The junior game is the main reserve, where scouts and agents choose the best hockey players for the university and in professional hockey. Inside junior hockey, also very strong competitions “for a place under the sun”.

In addition, here are a few thoughts to ponder:

1. The hockey team is a group of “music” players, where the “coach-maestro” does not teach them how to read music and how to play. “Music players” have learned play techniques from music teachers or parents who know how to play. Time for this cane of teachers for children’s hockey, long gone – and that’s a fact, ignore that, just silly.

2. Children’s hockey has different “training concepts” rather than in the school education. There is not stop competition, and all this implies social circumstances for children and their parents.

3. The need adaptation and orientation in a team atmosphere, in a word, – “art of survival”. Concepts and skills, “I should have to”, not all children and parents like it. Team on the ice and on the floor, has one law, “one for all and all for one”.

4. In today’s children’s hockey, look for the “training quality” can only be naive. The quality of hockey training begins in adolescence. For children hockey concept – “success here and now” – are abstraction. Rights for driving cars, drink alcohol, to see XXX movies – require appropriate age.

5. Such psychological qualities, in addition to technical and physical, as passion, excitement, enthusiasm, will, patience, self-motivation and creativity – are the “superstructure” for leadership and social influence everywhere, and particularly in children’s hockey.

Between children’s hockey coaches there was a tendency that many parents lost respect for them. Many coaches believe that hockey parents are less versed in hockey. This is misleading and that’s why. Firstly, kids hockey, it’s just “math game,” not youthful, with a level of “gaming algebra” and even more so, not a professional, where the coach must have knowledge of “hockey higher mathematics”.

Secondly, children’s hockey coaches are not sports teachers, as in figure skating or gymnastics. Many parents not like “children weekly competition and round robin tournaments”. They like more the training process and preparation their children for elite junior hockey.

These parents understand the “internal financial strategy” of children’s hockey clubs and the interests of their coaches. How can you criticize parents who do not agree to see, basically, “adult hockey among children”. On the other hand, why children’s coaches, who know the system of adult hockey, not coach of the junior or senior teams? Children, not adults, and who is responsible for their training in children’s hockey?

This is not my words: “In the children’s hockey no one coach will be interested in good faith, systematic, long-term and consistent education of your son’s personal mastery”. I am totally agree with the author of this idea and would like to give more of his words:

1.” A personal training of your child parent should perform at the beginning of his way from (5-10 years), when is easy to master the knowledge necessary for individual workouts.

2. When you will become a personal trainer for your son or daughter does not mean that this reduces the value of a coach. You are not a substitute for, but rather complement his work.

3. You should organize additional training, without which your child will not be able to win in the competition for his hockey future “. Better not say!

Many years ago, in my school in Toronto, came dad with his son; they lived while community features Niagara Falls. The boy did not immediately like me, but over time it became one of my demonstrators. His father worked as a dental technician and also a children’s hockey team coach. I was able to convince Mark father, leave coaching and become a personal trainer of his son. Louis, father of Mark agreed and the process of “spun”. Mark Popovic become the NHL player and now plays in Europe in professional hockey.

This is not secret that kids team coaches mostly a young, ambitious, but without the necessary basic knowledge to be a teachers. In my experience of 40 more years of work they only copy the system of adult hockey. They have not learned how to teach children the basic motor skills before participation in team tournaments and competitions.

The learning individual skills to play and compete with other hockey players are not the same think. Preparation for the team’s competition not is individual skills learning lessons. This is a reality in the children’s hockey and parents must understand this to find a “way out” of this situation.

During more than 40 years of experience in children’s hockey, I pass “lights and water in the darkness of children’s hockey”. I help many parents to bring their children to the “height” of the university and professional hockey in North America and Europe. My track record on:


I will say a few words about me. I was born in Moscow in a Jewish family. I was 7-8 years old when my father was arrested. Mother soon married and gave birth to a son, a month or two before the start of the Great War in 1941. I was only 11 years old when the German troops were close to Moscow.

I was not given to the children’s card products, and given a “dependency card” with a smaller set of products. Stepfather mobilized for the war and my mother with a baby in her arms, did not have time and energy for me. There was a time when I was stay near bakery with outstretched hands and asked for piece of bread”.

For need to survive and not die, helped me to collect my brains into a fist and form a smart mindand body skill, i.e. agility of mind and body. It is important to note that “outstretched hand for add-ons bread, helped me early to love people,” not friends and acquaintances, but in general.

In short, the war years “age” of me and tempered, but my childhood and family peace, war taken from me. When the war ended I be less than 15 years, but I was able to successfully use the acquired abilities during the war in time of peace, ahead of my peers, who came to Moscow from the forced evacuation from the Urals and Siberia.

For 42 years of life in the Soviet Union and 42 years in the West, I can say with great confidence that “My dream has come true, life is good!” (This is the name of my third book of poems for my muse and wife ( on the Russian page)

In conclusion one more thought. In all my years, I mentally and spiritually have not changed and it is true. Changed only physical abilities and, of course, some of the features. But passion, creativity, enthusiasm and belief in me and in God – are not lost. My life motto was and remains: “In childhood and maturity time necessary to work, be in love and do not thing about grow old!”

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