If, in a typical game, with 3 periods, each 15 minutes long (45 minutes), why do we schedule an ice slot that is 1.5 hours? Where does the extra 45 minutes go? Is there a better model, one that would be more developmentally sound? One that would allow for more learning? I think there is. But it doesn't necessarily fit in with the present thoughts of USA Hockey or with the owners of privately held rinks, who operate with more of a business model, than an educational model. Remember, they are in the business of renting the ice, not in ensuring their coaches are following better and more refined pedagogical practices.
Here's a great scene from a great movie. What do you see? It's not hard to see that the kids are having a lot of fun -- what I remember 'back in the day'. The bigger question though, is what DON'T you see? Some might see it immediately. Others might have to watch it a couple of times to answer. What you DON'T see -- are coaches. Somehow, particularly recently, whatever the motive, we as coaches began to feel that we could do better by taking over the kids' games, by coaching, organizing teams, leagues, and elite travel squads, where most of our kids' time is spent in the car, the bus, airplanes and hotels. And we spend a lot of money to do so. I hope we haven't lost, even for the best of reasons, what this clip so eloquently illustrates. As one who views the proverbial glass as 'half full', it's my belief that it's not too late to make meaningful changes!