USA Hockey Magazine

August 2018

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10 // AUGUST 2018 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM ILLUSTRATION BY Darren Gygi BEH I N D T HE G L A SS COACH OF THE MONTH It's great physical activity that also teaches life lessons about dealing with adversity, time-management and being part of team. PETER LAMONTAGNE Age: 39 Mashpee, Mass. There's no better way for Pete Lamontagne to honor the memory of his father and "pay it forward" than by developing the next generation of hockey players. It also allows him the same oppor- tunity to be close to his own son, James, who plays with Falmouth Youth Hockey. "My dad was very involved in hockey, and having seen what he did made me want to be involved as a coach with my son," he says. "It takes time and commitment, but the payback is greater than all that." In addition to coaching his son's team, Pete serves as the asso- ciation's goaltending development coordi- nator. His passion for puck stopping goes back to his own youth hockey days growing up on Cape Cod. He still finds time to play in a local adult league. "Hockey is the best sport in the world and goalie is the best posi- tion," he says. Pete's passion for the position is infectious as he encourages more kids to try the position, and to keep them play- ing closer to home. B E F O R E H E B E C A M E " T h e Wizard of Menlo Park," Thomas Edison was a failure. Yes, we now know him for invent- ing things such as the incandescent light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture camera, but Edison also tried his hand at countless other projects that never ended with a finished product. But rather than deem all those attempts failures, Edison famously quipped, "I have not failed 10,000 t i m e s — I 'v e s u c c e s s f u l l y f o u n d 10,000 ways that will not work." I bring this up because some- times it's hard for us as parents to r e c o g n i z e t h e v a l u e o f k n ow i n g what DOESN'T work. See, we all have plenty of rea- sons for getting our kids involved in sports, especially a sport like hockey. It's great physical activity that also teaches life lessons about dealing with adversity, time-man- agement and being part of team. But there's also a downside—every- thing from burnout, to injuries, to politics, to lost weekends and wallets swallowed up by travel and expenses. So, what do you do when the cons start to outweigh the pros for your child? Sometimes the signs are subtle. They were for hockey dad Kevin Duy, creator of and his wife. Their son would occasion- ally ask to skip practice. He wasn't as excited about games. "We thought it may have had to do with some of the kids on the team," Duy said. "There were some different personalities and kids who he didn't hang with outside of the rink." D u r i n g t he s e a s on , t hei r s on never came out and said he didn't w a nt to play a ny more. It w a sn't until the end of last summer, when he informed his parents he didn't want to play hockey in high school. The Duys were sad it was over but r e s p e c t e d their son's decision. It was time to bow out gracefully. "There's no sense in forcing your kid to play a sport that he doesn't want to play," they thought. "No one wins in that scenario." Looking back, Duy is grateful he made a mental shift a few years ago. He's not sure why or exactly when, but something hit him. It didn't mat- ter how badly he wanted his son to tap into his inner Gretzky; if playing hockey wasn't important to him, then it didn't matter. His son had to want it. "From that point on, I just started to sit back and enjoy watching him play the game," dad said. "I simply embraced him for the type of player that he wanted to be, and that was good enough." The lightbulb went off for the Duy family, and it turned out to be what was in their son's best interest. Now that he's hung up the skates, it's easy to say he's quitting hockey. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say he's merely succeeded at find- ing at least one sport that doesn't work for him before moving on to something else. And there's nothing wrong with that. P Christie Casciano Burns' new book, "My Kids Play Hockey: Essential Advice for Every Hockey Parent" is due out in August. THE HOCKEY MOM By Christie Casciano Burns How To Bow Out Gracefully When It's No Longer Fun

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