Gretzky The Child Prodigy: Building More Of Them Today

 

  • 99. The Great One. The Greatest there ever was.
  • A child prodigy. Like Mozart, defies the rules of gravity in his craft.
  • His stats remain untouched to this very day. Many say that those stats can never be touched because hockey has changed. That is definitely true.
  • Goals are much harder to score, instead of a 4 goal game average we are now at a 2.6 goal average, goalie pads are much bigger, goalies are much bigger, the nets are smaller, defenses are tighter, fewer penalties are called and the money ball factor, kids grow up with stats, technology that keeps them informed, parents train and sport specialize from a young age, and sports are scientific now.
  • Wayne Gretzky credits his dad for the foundation of his love of hockey and the reason he was a child prodigy.
  • “My dad was the first teammate I ever had. He built me a rink in our backyard. We played together until late at night in bone chilling temperatures.” – Wayne Gretzky
  • Our Pro Ambitions hockey parents describe their lives as “chaotic” “we divide and conquer” ” we take it one day at a time” “we figure out how we can get there and we do it” “we make it work financially, we just do although it comes with sacrifice”  This sounds familiar to my childhood hockey family, and still rings true in our home today.
  • I know many current players in the NHL. I trained them, they came to Pro Ambitions. Their parents were no different than most of the Pro Ambitions hockey families. But there was and is a common thread that I see.
  • Their dads built them a shooting station in the basement or garage, they had backyard rinks or areas of synthetic, they went to a lot of camps, they took a lot of private lessons, their families sacrificed a lot for tournaments, travel for hockey, league fees, equipment.
  • I did the same for my youngest daughter. As soon as I realized her love of field hockey, I was all in. Built turf and a shooting station in the basement, played with her. When their is passion in a child, I see so many families all in to support them.
  • Youth hockey players today have technology and information at their finger tips. That is a big reason for so many young players in the NHL today. They start young. Eating right, sleeping right, analyzing video, their stride, shot, going to camps, sport specializing, private lessons, training tools, back yard rinks, synthetic ice at home, sport specific strength and conditioning to get stronger and faster on the ice.
  • I disagree with a lot of  “the race to nowhere youth sports articles”. Youth athletes are learning valuable lessons in life from sports and from young ages. Setbacks and disappointment are part of the journey and learning curve for everyone.  At Pro Ambitions we have trained hundreds of thousands of youth hockey players, all with different personal bars. Some aspire to play in the NHL and the Olympics, others train to reach their goal of playing on their high school team, and everything in between. To me that is not a race to nowhere, they have goals and are working towards them while enjoying the journey and learning those valuable life lessons we all need to learn while making life long friends and memories. Meeting coaches and mentors who will make a significant impact on them for life. Sometimes having a hard time at school, but having their hockey club team to go to for comfort. Their hockey family.
  • Sport specialization is necessary but that does not mean your child should not play other sports. All coaches want their athletes cross training and taking a season off to play at least one  secondary sport, it will make them a better athlete and in turn better  in their own sport. No question.

 

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