Mental Toughness, Mental Trauma?

Each side will play the blame game. Each side will avoid the tough discussions, just because of the dynamic of the situation and culture surrounding the game.

All we know about mental health and trauma is essentially being ignored by some coaches, players and parents. It’s like there’s no chance of getting on the same page when it comes to ironically the most important aspect of the game the personal mental health and well-being of the athlete.

Again one would assume this aspect of the game would significantly improve as players climb through the ranks, that couldn’t be farther from the truth from the buzz surrounding the game.

At what point do we start asking the tough questions?

At what point do we reassess the entire process?

The coaches will claim “its the players issue,” “they will have to get a lot tougher mentally if they want to make it.”

The players automatically blame the coaches for being heartless unapproachable robots only focused on a win at all cost mentally.

Mental trauma or mental toughness?

Something has to give. There’s an under current of “old time hockey” or “hard ass” coaching philosophies resurfacing in the game. Some around the game will of course blame the entitlement players and kids possess in today’s society and they partially correct. Nevertheless, here’s where that approach gets incredibly dangerous.

“Well, they need this style of coaching”

That’s a bullshit take.

Players need to be coached in all facets of the game.

They certainly don’t need to be mentally tormented by a “old school” hard ass” coach that believes they are all knowing and know exactly what every player needs for “their own good.”

What about resiliency? What about being coachable?

I’m all for resiliency, I’m all for removing entitled elements in kids in this day and age, but it’s when things cross the line that’s when it becomes really serious.

In a way it all comes down to time. It’s sad to say, but some organizations and players don’t want to invest the time it takes to build quality relationships and positive lines of the communication. Some are willing to let it fester and then move on from a player or an organization without trying to bridge the gap.

Obviously, there’s always two sides to the story and things revolving around the game and especially this side of the game are incredibly complex.

At what point are the players and parents going to ask the tough questions?

At what point are the organizations going to ask the tough questions or look in the mirror?

At what point can players, parents and organizations get on the same page when it comes to mental health and well-being.

The tug of war rages on in many markets. Both sides way too proud, entitled or set in their ways when it comes to dealing with or “handling” the mental side of the game.

We can all agree the mental health and well-being of young players isn’t a pawn to be played with.

Are players these days entitled and less resilient than players or the past, perhaps.

Is every coach these days a heartless, “hard ass” unsympathetic, throw back, win at all cost robot? Perhaps not.

To know better, is to do better.

The hockey world needs to do a much better job when it comes to communication and helping players and everyone involved in the game from a mental health perspective.

The hockey world needs to help players struggling with mental health issues.

Mental toughness or mental trauma?

The debate rages on.

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