Year-round hockey a growing dilemma for parents

This is a major issue here in California, the pressure to play year-round hockey is massive! If you want to play Tier level hockey (AA and AAA) you better not even think of taking the spring or summer off. A lot of it has to do with politics and a lot has to do with parents feeling like their kid will fall behind. This is especially true when you get to the PeeWee level because they are in that grey area between “real” hockey of bantams and the much more casual squirt / mite levels. We all agree that having our kids play other sports has multiple benefits, including becoming a better all around athlete and avoiding burn-out. But, when you are trying to make a top team and you see the rest of the kids playing non-stop, how can you take a break even when you know its for the best?

“Wayne Gretzky, arguably the greatest hockey player ever, never played hockey in the spring or summer as a child. For years, Gretzky told reporters about how when the hockey season was over, he’d put his bag away and enjoyed baseball, lacrosse and tennis. For years he spoke about the importance of a being a multi-sport athlete and the dangers of hockey burnout. The game has obviously undergone a tremendous evolution since Gretzky was a kid. Just watch the speed and fitness level of the current NHL game. Gretzky knows the idea of putting away the equipment today is unthinkable. His family even operates a summer hockey camp in six North American cities.”

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