Managing The Rink – Gimme A Break

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Minor hockey has ended for the season (thank god!) but MM has already been asked to coach another team next year. 

Thanks for letting us get over our shitty season this year! 

Yes, we barely finished our last game of the home tournament when MM received a text message begging him to coach with a friend. 

And so began a conversation I never thought I’d actually have. 

MM told our friend that he’s exhausted from coaching this season and doesn’t even know if he wants to coach next year. (Let the rumours fly!)

So MM and I sat down and talked about it. 

He admitted there’s a part of him that doesn’t want to coach anymore. He’s tired of the parents who blame everything on the coaches. He’s tired of being questioned by league heads when coaches aren’t doing their jobs properly. He’s tired of being the middle-man in almost every situation. And he’s really tired of coaching with head coaches who make really bad decisions about benching players and yelling at kids. This is minor house league hockey, for cryin’ out loud. Every kid should be able to play and have fun. 

On the other hand, I explained to him what it’s like in the stands. I said he probably couldn’t handle the stands if he can’t handle the politics of minor hockey because at least he has the protection of the bench when he’s coaching. In the stands, the questions, the assumptions, the rumours, and the gossip never end. They’re always there, lingering in the background, bubbling to the surface at every moment. Someone is always bitching about something. I’m always on the defensive. In the stands, I’m surrounded by people who all have an opinion, yet they haven’t once volunteered or coached a day in their lives. I’m a patient person when it involves kids. But even my patience is tried most days while sitting in the stands of the arenas. 

My own belief is that there’s no way MM could handle not being a coach. And he agreed with me. So he’s decided to go back to coaching again next season. But no one needs to know that right now because we all need a break. 

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