In my recent post I talked about how ice rink building is a dying tradition, in this post I want to talk about what the impact of this is.
In my view there are more organized sports today than in the past, more leagues, more of parents driving their kids to practice and games in all sorts of sports than before. This leaves less time for parents to be home to build an ice hockey rink because they’re out every night driving the kids to all of their organized events. A few years ago there was a crisis in Canadian hockey because we weren’t winning gold medals at an acceptable rate and one of the concerns was that kids aren’t just playing around enough at early ages. In a typical league game the average kid may handle the puck for a total of 1 minute the whole game. If you put a handful of kids on a backyard rink they can stick handle and shoot for hours. Many are saying that in general European players have more imagination because they spend less time playing organized hockey at the youngest ages and more time building their skills and having fun.
How many times have you heard an NHL player talk about growing up and playing on a pond or in a backyard until his mother had to call him in from the dark for supper? If your kids love to play then a backyard rink gives them access all the time. Now of course we all know that only a very small percentage of kids will ever become professional players. A big benefit of ice rink building is that it gives your children something better than video games to play. In this day and age when child obesity is becoming more and more common providing them with a fun way to actually get some exercise is the best gift you could give your children.