I love hockey. I love watching my boys play. I occasionally love to see a practice or two. Lately though, I dread watching. This happens every year. Self righteous parents whose kids are obviously (not) going to the NHL tend to let loose in the stands their opinions of those kids they see far less talented. That is not my problem right now. Jason suddenly dreads practice. He was late one day and frustrated and had a totally shitty practice and got moved to the 3rd line, resulting in little to no playing time in the scrimmage that afternoon. So, we discussed that it was a punishment and a chance to turn things around and really soar. If he changed his tune, gave it 100% all of the time, and left the pouting for the car ride home, he could move back up.
So, I caught a practice yesterday. He seemed to be skating great. Now, I'm not a coach - nor do I resemble any sort of expert - but I can tell when he's not doing well, not listening, and not hustling. And this is where the heart break enters. He was busting his ass, skating hard, definitely 100% effort. . . but was getting his ass reamed every time he ran the drill, even if he beat the defence. Then the coaches stopped practice, and in front of everyone - made him take off his jersey and put on another color, representing the "demotion" if you will, to the third line. This was 1/2 way through practice, not in the locker room while they are dressing- It just crushed him, especially because several thought it was so funny.
It didn't change the way he skated. He continued to bust his ass and continued to get reamed after every drill. It didn't matter that he was the forward that reached the puck first, stayed on the d if they got it first, & used his body and the boards to tie up the d while the other forward hung back waiting for a pass.
Like I said, I'm not a coach, but what happened to positive reinforcement once in a while? They're going to lose him. I'm not saying that the team can't survive with out him. I am saying that he is slowly being poisoned against the sport, and that breaks my heart to see him losing something he loves.