Overseeing youth hockey


To the Editor:

Twenty years ago I walked out of the M.V. Arena. This winter was my first visit since. My relationship with a young hockey player made it important enough for me to come back to the arena to see him play.

What I found is that nothing in the past 20 years has changed: Kids don’t play because of coaching behavior. Kids are put on the wrong team because of who their mother or father is, and people don’t get involved because it’s not worth the heartache.

Will the powers to be consider putting together a group of coaches and players that are not involved or have kids involved? This group should be over the age of 60 if possible. The group would set the teams at the beginning of each season by secret ballot. Any and all complaints with team selection would have one consideration on appeal to this same group. Only active coaches can apply for reconsideration, which would be conducted in a closed meeting; this would be final.

If a complaint is submitted about a coach, this outside group would watch said coach and interview as many people as possible who would be willing to speak up. A report would be given to the head of youth hockey which then would meet with the coach to discuss the report, if a problem is found. This process would be kept private, and the coach would be given one chance to adjust his coaching style.

Remember, everyone, parents are the last ones to look at their children with honesty. If everyone is honest and makes the right decisions for the right reason, everything will work better. Yes, some people will find the truth really hard, but it’s the only way to be fair with the children, which is the most important thing.

The kids need to be put in the proper situation for them to be given fair opportunity to grow; let’s not worry about hurting some parents’ feelings because they might feel embarrassed. The kids know the truth.

This method or the present system will not work if everyone is not honest. Speak the truth respectfully, and in the long run everyone wins.

Oh yes, someone needs to man up inside the organization and speak the truth. Do it for the kids. The truth always wins.

By the way, I ran the arena for six years and coached high school football for 14 years. I have a clue, do you?

David E. Morris Jr.

Oak Bluffs