Monday, 7 March 2016

Get in the Game

When I was in high school, our indoor arena was condemned due to structural problems.  All that exceptionally cold winter, we had to skate outside.

I coached figure skating in the afternoon. I taught both boys and girls how to skate forwards and backwards. How to turn on a dime. How to stop. Quite a few would-be hockey players took lessons with the Mile Zero Figure Skating Club, including Phil Sykes and Danny Brennan who were two of the only three Dawson Creek kids to ever make the NHL.

Mile Zero Figure Skating Club
Right after figure skating was minor hockey. As I waited for my mom to pick me up, I would watch the beginners, mostly five and six year old boys. 

They did not take lessons on how to skate or handle a stick or pass the puck. They went straight into playing the game, most of them leaning on their sticks for support or falling over. The one or two kids who could skate dominated, leaving the rest out of the action with their dads calling kids names and yelling "Take him out! Knock him down! Take the man!" There were several pathetic little scuffles every game, with enthusiastic support from the parents in the stands. 

It was the worst hockey I have ever seen. In fact, I wouldn't even call it hockey. Little kids being told to take other little kids out, just because they couldn't actually skate or handle the puck? Sad. 

I couldn't help but think that if their parents had enrolled those boys in figure skating for a year, they would now be able to skate and could concentrate on mastering actual hockey skills like how to handle a stick or how to pass or shoot a puck. 

Maybe then they would have scored some goals. 

Maybe they could be the ones getting near the net instead of feebly throwing in some punches with their scrawny six year old arms. 

Fast forward to today in politics. I see the big boys sitting on their fat asses telling the little guys to scrap it out on the sidelines, while those who have invested in learning something are controlling the play. I see the unskilled trying to content themselves fighting little battles instead of winning games. I hear name calling and insults. Maybe throwing a punch or two gives them some satisfaction. I have no idea. But it seems to me if you want to win, you need to actual make some points.

Get in the game, kids. 

You want to make a change in how things are done, learn how the game is played. And then play it. Otherwise you're just flailing away with your puny arms and your dumb insults accomplishing nothing.