Friday, December 14, 2007

To all you kids out there

Sometimes you get news that really affects you, but it's so close to you personally that to other people, it doesn't seem like a big deal at all.

Like this news. I heard recently that my Dad is stepping down (mid-season) as coach of his minor hockey team. That doesn't seem like a big deal to you, does it?

Well, here's the thing. My Dad loves hockey. He lives and breathes coaching. When the season ends, he barely takes any time off before he's out "scouting" - checking out players for next year's team.

My Dad has devoted over 30 years of his life to coaching - all volunteer work. And it's a very big time commitment. But he does it. Year after year, he's helping boys learn on-ice and life skills about being a team player, the importance of being okay with a loss and being an admirable winner. He helps these boys excel at a sport they love. And the best part is, he really cares about them and cares about having fun.

With his guidance, his teams have won championships, have made it to the Provincials and have had countless number of wins and made it through some bad seasons and losses, too. But it's always been fun.

This year, something different is happening. There are some problem parents, some of the players aren't committing, they don't feel they have to learn from my Dad - and they're losing. All season. Which is okay, in my Dad's eyes.

But, as he told my mom, after 30 plus years of coaching, it's suddenly no longer any fun for him. He doesn't look forward to games like he used to. So, he's stepping down.

I think it's the right decision for him - and I'm glad he's made it. But for some reason, I feel quite emotional about it. I guess I don't like the thought of someone not giving my Dad the respect he deserves. And I don't like the thought of my Dad being unhappy.

I just hope he remembers all the good experiences he's had. And maybe the ice will call to him again one day.


  1. This is very touching Heather. I think it's the right thing for Dad to do to step down, both for the team and for himself.

    I know the Terriers organization will appreciate his efforts, they're good guys.

    Dad's a multi-faceted guy and he's had a good ride with hockey! It's time for him to find something that will help him find that sense of fun he loves!

  2. More time to walk the dog and work in the garden and quibble with mom over what golf tournament to watch :)

    and, for all the idiots out there, there are hundreds of kids and parents who understand what dad did and really appreciate him for it..

  3. Dad left on a high note, there are no hard feelings between him, the parents, the boys or the Terriers.

    He just wanted to do the right thing, as always. He has a very heightened sense of fair play!

  4. Oh my god, I nearly cried reading this. It's like Gretzky's last game. Beautifully written, Heather.

  5. I just read about Ed stepping down from the Terrier organization, I too feel quite emotional about it. He has freely given so much of himself to the boys. I nominated him for Mississauga Volunteer of the year because of his involvement in hockey. I am sure he will find a new interest that will keep him busy and fulfilled. Heather your note was so heartfelt. Kathy