Is It Still Fun?

If you were to able observe kids walking into rinks all across the Maritimes what would you see? Smiling faces or kids just going through the motions or monotony of the process.

Have you really looked around the rinks lately, what do you see?

Is it still fun to play the game of hockey?

Does anyone still have fun playing the sport or has it turned into a job or just another activity.

Obviously, everyone has their own definition of what fun is, but when it comes to going to the rink, do players of any age still find it entertaining or enjoyable?

For some “fun” means winning?

What percentage of kids are still having fun playing the game?

Obviously, that’s difficult question to answer these days with so many other variables in play, but shouldn’t that be the most meaningful variable of them all?

As kids climb the ladder within the game of hockey it would appear the seriousness and intensity of the situation takes on entirely new meaning. Winning becomes all encompassing and in some cases the fun gets benched. Losing isn’t fun, nothing about the game seems very fun when you’re on the losing side of the battle every night getting the shit the kicked out you. That isn’t fun at all, and many of us have experienced that a time or two. Every kid is different, every kid has their own definition of “fun”.

Parents and coaches alike have the blinders on at times, thinking that the kids are having fun because the game is fun to play. There’s a preconceived notion out there that they understand what the kid is thinking at all times. Unfortunately, what adults think might be fun just because, isn’t that appealing to the kids.

Parents and coaches should be checking in with players a lot especially in younger levels of the game and there should be a concerted effort to keep things fun.

When did the game turn into the job?

Why are they still playing if they aren’t having any fun?

When is the fun getting sucked out of them? If so who’s to blame?

Is it a coach? Is it the overbearing hockey parents? or

Have they just had enough?

Hockey parents across the Maritimes need to check in with their kids on a regular basis, but the first question should always be; “Are you still having fun?”

Wouldn’t it be great if every kid playing the game was having fun?

Sadly that’s not the case.

Sadly it would also appear that in some cases as kids move up hockey’s hierarchical stages that the game gets less and less enjoyable.

No one wants to look or accept the declining numbers within the game, the game itself has become so elitist that it’s not accessible to the masses anymore. The game costs so much that there’s definitely a trickle down effect when it comes to the seriousness of the situation.

You want to see kids have fun playing the game in the purest sense of the word, go to an outdoor rink in your community and watch, I bet you will see more smiles there then anywhere else.

We are missing the mark a lot when it comes to sport and the game of hockey.

Is it still fun?

Time will tell, let’s all hope that every young kid that laces them up will find some aspect of the game that they still enjoy and that no one has stolen their passion or love of the game.

To all the parents and coaches out there, let’s try something different, let’s have some fun, let’s check in with the kids and see what they want out of the game. I’m afraid I’d we don’t it could be very costly.

See you at the rink, hopefully with a smile on your face.

PS Maybe for a moment let’s think about how many months a year do kids play the game, maybe they just need to take a break and then maybe the fun might return?

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