Thursday, December 23, 2010

George, I hate hockey fathers like you

Is there anything more pathetic than a hockey dad? I've met enough of them in my 10 years coaching kids hockey. Typically they helicopter parents who live vicariously through their kid's hockey and are obsessed with getting their child to "be the best they can be." I hated these parents because they ruined it for everyone - the kids, the coaches, and the other parents. On one occasion I asked one dad to stop coming to games because he was embarrassing his kid.

So when I read this latest story about a dad stalking a peewee hockey team, I was not surprised to learn that the culprit is a lawyer. I've met many lawyers who can't seem to turn off their aggressive intimidating bullshit out of the workplace.

I didn’t know that lawyers would use their powers to humiliate and embarrass little girls who weren’t playing all that well.

Kayla Watkins, 12, was fine with being the only girl on a boy's hockey team — til she saw a meeting agenda item about her "Player Ability Limitations," including handwringing over her locker room changing, written by another kid's dad.

According to The Toronto Star, George Atis, a parent who is not the coach, wrote in the agenda,

"It is now 14 games into the season and I have noticed that Kayla's play has not improved. It is at the point where many of the team members do not want to play on this team if this situation is not addressed."

Atis then details two possible options for consideration, either moving Kayla from defence to forward and keeping her off of power plays and penalty kills, or playing her every second shift on defence and again keeping her off special teams "until her skating and shooting improves."

"If Kayla is NOT amenable to the above options, the coach should find Kayla a new team to play on - commensurate to her skill level - for the balance of the season," the agenda reads.

I've seen parents in the past organize these meetings behind the coaches' backs.

By the way the coach had no problems with Kayla. He selected her for the team and has no regrets. This only an "A" team, the lowest level of competitive hockey in Toronto.

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