Youth Hockey Tournaments: The Pros & Cons –


Photograph by April Walker

Youth hockey tournaments will be nice enjoyable. However have they grow to be an excessive amount of?

By Tim Turk

Youth hockey tournaments will be enjoyable, exhilarating, and rewarding experiences. They offer youngsters an opportunity to essentially put themselves to the take a look at and compete in opposition to the fiercest competitors. It permits younger gamers to achieve expertise and publicity in a high-pressure world, and to proceed to hone their abilities as they develop. However have youth hockey tournaments grow to be too intense for our youngsters?

Today, there are quite a few tournaments obtainable for any crew to take part in. Some groups even play in a number of tournaments on the similar time. Opponents argue that we’d by no means drive skilled gamers to play a number of official video games in a single day. So why are we letting our youngsters achieve this?

Let’s take a look at a number of the execs and cons of hockey tournaments and examine whether or not they’re turning into an excessive amount of for our younger gamers’ improvement.

The Execs of Youth Hockey Tournaments

Extra time to develop – As a participant participates in additional tournaments, they are going to be accustomed to taking part in below strain and may have the chance to repeatedly enhance abilities in official video games.

Rewarding Expertise – Successful a event is an extremely rewarding feeling that may assist groups bond and provides particular person gamers extra confidence.

Leisure – Gamers typically benefit from the time spent collectively whereas on the street throughout a event. And oldsters get a kick out of the thrill that the video games carry them.

The Cons of Youth Hockey Tournaments

Too many video games, too little time – Hockey tournaments typically pack lots of video games into a brief time frame, generally even making gamers participate in a number of video games in a single day. This may be powerful on a household who should stick with a schedule.

Burnout potential – Due to this cramming of video games, some gamers might discover themselves burning out rapidly. This may be harmful, as taking part in when drained may result in accidents which may render them unable to play in any upcoming tournaments. Merely put, it is probably not sufficient restoration time for the physique and thoughts.

Much less apply time – Though in-game expertise is extraordinarily vital, collaborating in too many tournaments can minimize into vital apply and coaching time. Some abilities can solely be taught outdoors of the sport, and gamers want to have the ability to take a while off of the ice to get well and situation themselves.

Coach and Mum or dad Views

Many coaches and oldsters have begun to query whether or not they’re placing their younger gamers by an excessive amount of stress after they take part in so many tournaments. Typically groups are requested to play as many as 7 official video games within the span of three days. How can a coach put together for that and embrace apply and crew conferences whereas staying sharp sufficient to execute on the ice? And that’s simply the coach. Think about the stress that’s placed on the younger gamers who’re primarily requested to play hockey nonstop for half per week—typically in back-to-back tournaments.

Dad and mom have grow to be extra vocal in regards to the impact that these tournaments can have on their kids. These results aren’t simply bodily—they’re psychological and emotional as effectively. If a crew performs in tournaments like this all year long, gamers will miss out on lots of time with their household and mates. After they lastly get a break, they’re typically exhausted and worn down, unable to take part in social occasions as they’d usually have the ability to.

Extra Overworked Than the Execs

Within the NHL, a crew by no means has to play greater than 2 video games in 2 days, and people back-to-back video games occur solely a handful of instances all through the season. Examine this to minor tournaments the place gamers generally take part in 3 video games in a single day. And that’s typically with a smaller roster than that of an NHL crew. If there are guidelines stopping skilled hockey gamers from being overworked, why don’t we now have those self same guidelines for youth hockey gamers?

It may be argued that younger gamers have extra power, however it must also be thought of that they’re nonetheless growing and will very effectively want longer restoration instances than the professionals. Risking exhaustion or harm due to an newbie event can have long-term implications on a participant’s skill to reach the long run. If we will accommodate the requests of NHL gamers, we must always have the ability to do the identical with younger gamers.

The Backside Line

No person that performs hockey would argue that tournaments are a foul factor. They’re a helpful and enjoyable approach to enhance your hockey abilities and bond together with your crew. Coaches and groups ought to be inspired to take part in tournaments commonly, as you will need to see how their groups stack up in opposition to the competitors. Plus it permits them to repeatedly work on making the crew higher as an entire.

The issue isn’t the tournaments themselves; the issue is the sheer variety of tournaments that many hockey gamers are anticipated to take part in. When gamers are requested to skate in 3 video games in a single day, there’s one thing improper with league expectations. Youth gamers, particularly these on the youthful finish, want way more time to get well and ought to be given the possibility to relaxation between video games and between tournaments.

How You Can Assist

In case you are a coach, you are able to do your half by limiting the variety of tournaments to which your crew applies in the course of the 12 months. Some gamers could also be excited about taking part in extra, however they’ll skate for different groups in numerous tournaments in the event that they want. It’s in your crew’s finest curiosity to maintain your gamers effectively rested and effectively skilled.

As a mother or father, you need to encourage your little one to take part in tournaments, however don’t overdo it. Let her or him determine how a lot they’ll deal with, and ensure to offer them with different, non-hockey associated actions as choices. Even when your little one is extraordinarily keen about hockey, they want a while away from the game with a view to reside a well-rounded life, and to carry their highest degree of depth to the ice after they do skate out onto it.

Tim Turk is a frequent contributor to He has been an NHL Capturing and Scoring coach for over 25 years, working with organizations just like the Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, and Arizona Coyotes, and lots of Nationwide Packages overseas. He additionally works with minor hockey groups, coaches and gamers of all ages and ranges, specializing in Hockey Capturing, Passing and Puck Safety. For extra data go to

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