My son’s roller hockey team won the Pacific Cup final last weekend. For teams in California, Arizona and Nevada, Pacific Cup is the biggest tournament of the year, not counting national championships.
The problems include:
- Kids who are strong skaters, but only when they’ve got the puck. When they don’t have the puck, they lose interest and start thinking about how long it’s been since they had the puck and when are they going to get the puck again. They don’t want to skate hard just to chase people around on defense, for example.
- Kids who handle the puck well but don’t know when to pass. For every dazzling stick handling move they give you, they turn the puck over six or eight times trying to make a dazzling stick handling move through two or three defenders when they’d be better off passing the puck to an open teammate.
- Kids who shoot the puck well but don’t know when to pass. For every great shot they put in the net, they give you 10 bad shots when they should have passed the puck but didn’t.
OK, all these “kids” are actually one kid. And you can’t totally blame the kid . . . the coach puts him out there and lets him do whatever he wants, which is easier than taking a group of kids and teaching them to play together as a team.
My son, like most of the kids on the team, is not as strong a skater as this one kid, he doesn’t handle the puck as well, and he doesn’t shoot as well, but he skates hard at both ends of the rink, he’s a good passer and he makes good decisions, and if I had four kids just like him and a good goalie, I’d beat this team every time.