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Time For A Youth Sports Culture Change

By B.Heisten, 04/23/20, 7:30PM AKDT

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Structure Play Vs. Unstructured Play

In Search of Greatness - Structured Play vs Unstructured Play

If you are having trouble viewing the video above, please click the link below.

As we sit idle waiting for our normal way of life to resume, we have an opportunity to come out the same as before or for the better. Hopefully, we take this time to refocus our energy personally & professionally into making our environment a better place.  Personally, for us, this downtime is an opportunity to dive into our current youth hockey culture to find ways to provide a better environment for our youth. I agree with Topher Scott of Hockey Think Tank who said "We forget about all the things that are necessary for that to happen and those things that are necessary are putting our kids in an environment where they can learn the game, love the game, get better at the game, and absolutely want to do that to intrinsically motivate themselves so they want to work at it." Our current youth culture in Anchorage is driven by a few major factors: too much emphasis on winning & losing, too much structured play, especially at the younger ages, recruitment of players and tiering players (Comp & Rec) at too young of an age. These are topics that AHA is currently discussing to find solutions to change our culture. So when the rinks open up and we're allowed to continue with providing hockey programs for our youth, we're in a better spot.

If you have any thoughts or solutions about our current youth culture, please feel free to provide a comment below. This is to get this conversation started. 

I wanted to provided a clip from the documentary "In Search of Greatness" where the Great Wayne Gretzky talks about structured play in youth sports. This is a great documentary that we highly recommend everyone to watch- it can be found on Amazon Prime.