Warp Speed

Why can’t the hockey world just leave the elite up and coming prospect the hell a lone?

Why does everything around the young highly talented player and their family have to be going at warp speed?

Why can’t we just leave them alone and let them enjoy the journey?

From hardly no one knowing your name to being the talk of the town, young skilled players entering the U-15 level always seem to be constantly bombarded with attention.

Photo Credit CTV News

Sure it’s great to recognized and appreciated, but when things travel at warp speed no one knows who to trust as the onslaught from the supposed “hockey experts” converge.

You see at the Bantam level everyone is projecting talent, everyone in the game starts to put that player on a unique trajectory.

From agents, to scouts, to coaches, to consultants everyone wants their turn to talk with the player and their parents.

It’s an ultra confusing time for the player and family due in large part to the unwanted attention. This isn’t just a hockey issue, this is a sporting issue. Everyone that sees talent wants to somehow help grow it or mould it. Clearly if your child was passionate and skilled wouldn’t you consider others trying to help?

That answer is easy, but on the other hand it’s incredibly complicated.

Why can’t the hockey world just back off?

Everything seems to happen at warp speed. Prep school, elite summer programs, agents, draft year prep, best options, best equipment choices and in extreme cases potential sponsorship.

This shit is happening folks, it happening more than you think and the parents of the young elite level players have to decipher or stick handle through all of it on their own.

Oh well, that’s the job of an agent.

In many ways it is, but finding the right agent at 13 or 14 is extremely challenging. God forbid you chose one and it’s not the right fit, then word gets out. As they say in Letterkenny, “bad gas travels fast in a small town,” you could say the same can be said about the hockey world.

Listen don’t get me wrong I know a lot of agents and they are great people, knowledgeable people, trustworthy people and are in it for all the right reasons. BUT for the family that is travelling down this road for the first time, they clearly don’t know them and like any relationship building it’s hard to maneuver when considering every option.

When things are travelling at warp speed in uncharted territory, that’s when mistakes get made.

Phrases like, “we just want what’s best for “insert players name here” and the family” start being said.

Just imagine turning down a spring or summer development camp, the ripple effect that might have a young players future. The grudges that might create, hell you all know how the hockey world works right.

It’s so unfair and unreasonable to think that parents and these young athletes have to go through this, that one unintentional decision could create “buzz” about the player and the family.

Why can’t we just cut through all the bull shit and support the process, discuss it rather than trying to control it.

Why does the hockey world have be so hands on at all the wrong times.

Are those people asking the right questions are they framing those questions in a way that makes the player and family think and reflect or jump to judgment.

We all play a part in this for young talented players, but I really wish everyone would just back off and let the family and the kid process and digest everything that’s coming their way on their own time.

Let’s all be helpful, but let’s all listen first rather than talking and sharing our two cents.

At the end of the day, the family and player have to make the decision not the rest of the hockey world.

Why can’t we just leave the kid and their family alone? Why can’t we just give them space rather than forcing them into a decision at warp speed?

There’s no handbook for this stuff, there’s no set guidelines or restart menu. The most important aspect in all of this will be the players love and passion for the game.

That’s what matters most.

How bad does the player want it, how much are they willing to sacrifice?

Not making the top teams over the years for some might probably the best thing that could have happened for players that find themselves thrust into all the attention. You see that adversity

shaped and grounded the athlete and family in many ways. Those experiences are truly invaluable when all the attention and spotlight shines bright.

We should all celebrate the success the player is having, but collectively we should never want to see a young aspiring player get lost in all the other shit surrounding the game that unfortunately happens at warp speed.

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