Mattias was so excited - he had LOVED hockey camp and couldn't wait to continue learning about hockey. But the experience was not quite what we had in mind, and FAR different from the affirming feel of hockey camp ... First off - there wasn't any interaction between the coach (evaluator) and kids or even between the boys. Mattias got bored very quickly, and ended up coming to the plexiglass to wave at my hubby and I. He's such a social kid ...
We found out that the majority of kids there had been in a hockey program since the age of 2. They knew the rules, what to do, where to go ... Tias only had 2 weeks of hockey camp, but it was more hockey drills than actually game-playing. So he needed more guidance, and wasn't getting the help he needed.
My poor hubby, though. He's so in love with the game of hockey, and Tias' wandering mind and lack of motivation really hit him. And he was worried that Tias would be evaluated unfairly because he wasn't doing all that he was capable of - by any stretch. But when we chatted with Tias afterwards, he told us that he didn't know what to do, and nobody was helping him. He also said that he didn't know where the puck was, and when he did - the other kids got there first all of the time, so eventually he lost interest.
My heart broke as I listened to the other parents, who were observing their kids. There was a log of bragging, negative talk about different coaches and parents, with one parent laughing at how her kid would gladly take off their gloves and "drop a few" on another player. Um. REALLY?? They're FIVE, for Pete's sake.
SOOO - we have some decisions to make. First off, if Tias WANTS to be there, then we'll continue on. But we have no desire to instill standards of fighting and negative competition ... we had hoped that the younger league would promote teamwork and self esteem. But hey - it's only the evaluation - so maybe that will change once they're on teams?
Do any of you have insight into sports with young boys? Is this just a rude awakening?