Transcript: Re-examining Youth Sport Culture | May 08, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Re-Evaluating youth sport culture. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says HIGH-PERFORMANCE
ATHLETES ARE NOT SIMPLY BORN.
THEY ARE THE RESULT OF THOUSANDS
OF HOURS OF DEDICATED EFFORT BY
THE ATHLETE, COACHES, PARENTS
AND MANY OTHERS, ALL PULLING IN
THE SAME DIRECTION.
THE END GAME FOR SOME IS A
CAREER.
MORE BROADLY, GETTING YOUNG
PEOPLE INTO SPORTS CAN SET THEM
ON THE RIGHT TRACK FOR LIFELONG
FITNESS.
WITH US TO CONSIDER ALL OF THAT:
IN WINNIPEG, MANITOBA:
FORMER CFL FOOTBALL PLAYER
MARK VERBEEK, NOW MANAGER OF
INNOVATION AT SPORT FOR LIFE,
AND A TEACHER AND ASSISTANT
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR AT
HILLFIELD-STRATHALLAN COLLEGE IN HAMILTON.

Mark is in his late forties, with short-cropped brown hair and a full beard. He's wearing a black polo shirt.

Steve continues AND WITH US HERE IN STUDIO:
PATRICIA LONGMUIR, SENIOR
SCIENTIST AT CHEO RESEARCH
INSTITUTE, THAT'S THE CHILDREN'S
HOSPITAL OF EASTERN ONTARIO.
SHE'S ALSO AN ASSOCIATE
PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF
PEDIATRICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
OTTAWA...

Patricia is in her early sixties, with chin-length wavy gray hair and bangs. She's wearing a gray pinstripe blazer.

Steve continues NICK WATTIE, HE'S A SPORT
SCIENTIST AND ASSISTANT
PROFESSOR IN THE FACULTY OF
HEALTH SCIENCES AT ONTARIO TECH
UNIVERSITY...

Nick is in his early forties, with short brown hair and a boxed beard. He's wearing a brown sweater and a checkered shirt.

Steve continues BETH McCHARLES, MENTAL
PERFORMANCE COACH WHO HAS WORKED
WITH MULTIPLE UNIVERSITY
ATHLETIC ASSOCIATIONS...

Beth is in her forties, with long straight blond hair. She's wearing a black blazer and a green shirt.

Steve continues AND SEAN FITZ-GERALD, MANAGING
EDITOR OF THE ATHLETIC IN
TORONTO AND AUTHOR OF THE
FORTHCOMING BOOK ABOUT YOUTH
HOCKEY.
IT'S CALLED, "BEFORE THE LIGHTS
GO OUT."

Sean is in his fifties, clean-shaven and bald. He's wearing glasses and a blue sweater.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a picture of an empty hockey stadium.

Steve continues WE'RE GOING TO DO THIS PROGRAM
BEFORE OUR LIGHTS GO OUT HERE.
GREAT TO HAVE EVERYBODY HERE IN
OUR STUDIO, AND, MARK, GREAT TO
MEET YOU ON THE LINE FROM
WINNIPEG.
I GATHER YOU'RE THERE FOR A
PHYSICAL LITERACY CONFERENCE, SO
WHY DON'T WE JUST START THERE
AND HAVE YOU DEFINE FOR US, WHAT
DO YOU MEAN BY PHYSICAL
LITERACY?

The caption changes to "Mark Verbeek. Sport for Life."

Mark says YEAH.
PHYSICAL LITERACY IS BASICALLY
THE COMPETENCE AND CONFIDENCE TO
PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITY FOR
LIFE, IN A BRIEF DEFINITION, AND
THAT OCCURS IN MULTIPLE
ENVIRONMENTS WITH MULTIPLE
EXPERIENCES, WHICH ALLOW YOU TO
KIND OF VALUE MOVEMENT FOR THE
LIFE SPAN.

Steve says IN LAYMAN'S TERMS,
YOU'VE GOT TO KNOW HOW TO KICK A
SOCCER BALL, THROW A BASEBALL,
SHOOT A HOCKEY PUCK, THAT KIND
OF STUFF?

Mark says YOU'VE GOT IT.

Steve says WHY DO YOU BELIEVE
IT IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT FOR
YOUNG PEOPLE TO HAVE THOSE
SKILLS?

Mark says I THINK WHAT IT DOES IS
THOSE... WE KIND OF DEFINE THEM
AS FUNDAMENTAL MOVEMENT SKILLS
AS KIND OF THE FOUNDATIONAL PART
OF IT.
JUST LIKE YOU WOULD LEARN
READING WHERE YOU START WITH
YOUR LETTERS AND THOSE LETTERS
THEN TURN INTO WORDS AND WORDS
TURN INTO SENTENCES AND
SENTENCES INTO STORIES, IT'S THE
SAME WITH PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT.
IT TAKES SOME TIME AND
INTENTION.
SO AS KIDS START TO LEARN THESE
DIFFERENT SKILLS ALONG THEIR
EXPERIENCES AND THEIR JOURNEYS
IN THESE DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS,
LUCKILY IN CANADA KIDS HAVE A
PLETHORA OF THOSE TO CHOOSE
FROM, IT DEVELOPS THIS
FOUNDATION OF FUNDAMENTAL
MOVEMENT SKILLS THAT ALLOWS THEM
TO KIND OF PARTICIPATE IN
WHATEVER ACTIVITIES THEY WANT TO
VENTURE IN.
THAT INCLUDES ACTIVITIES OF
DAILY LIVING TO HIGH-PERFORMANCE
SPORT.

Steve says BETH, YOU ARE
ESSENTIALLY WHAT WE WOULD CALL
IN LAYMAN'S TERMS A SPORTS
PSYCHOLOGIST, RIGHT?

Beth says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE
KIDS TO WANT TO DEVELOP THEIR
PHYSICAL LITERACY?

The caption changes to "Beth McCharles. Ryerson University Athletics."

Beth says GREAT QUESTION.
YOU KNOW, THERE ARE A LOT OF
DIFFERENT COMPONENTS TO THAT.
IT DEPENDS IF YOUR KID IS SUPER
MOTIVATED INTERNALLY JUST TO GET
OUT THERE AND GET OUTSIDE AND
PRACTICE WHAT THEY'RE DOING AND
BEING CREATIVE, AND THERE'S
OTHER KIDS THAT LIKE TO BE MORE
INDOORS, AND ON VIDEO GAMES OR
TELEVISION OR WHATNOT.

Steve says THEY'RE THE TOUGH SELL.

Beth says THEY'RE THE TOUGH SELL.
SO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IS SET
BOUNDARIES IN THE HOUSEHOLD AS
PARENTS, AND IT'S REALLY HARD,
BUT TRY TO GET THEM MOTIVATED
TO... AND EDUCATE THEM ON THE
IMPORTANCE OF GETTING OUTSIDE
AND CREATIVE PLAY AND JUST BEING
OUTDOORS.

Steve says PATRICIA, I WANT TO
FOLLOW UP WITH YOU ON THAT.
I THINK... WELL, CERTAINLY IN MY
NEIGHBOURHOOD WHEN I WAS A KID,
EVERY DAY AFTER SCHOOL, I MEAN
EVERY DAY, ROAD HOCKEY, STREET
FOOTBALL, WHATEVER IT WAS.
THAT'S NOT THE CASE ANYMORE.
SO HOW DO YOU GET KIDS WHO MIGHT
NOT BE INCLINED TO CHASE AFTER
PHYSICAL LITERACY TO DO IT?

The caption changes to "Patricia Longmuir. Cheo Research Institute."

Patricia says I THINK
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS
IS TO JUST LIMIT SCREEN TIME AND
GET KIDS OUTSIDE.

Steve says THAT WILL MAKE YOU
POPULAR.

Patricia says YES, IT WILL.
IT'S NOT POPULAR, NECESSARILY,
BUT WE KNOW THAT EVEN IF YOU
DON'T TELL KIDS THEY HAVE TO BE
ACTIVE, IF YOU JUST GET THEM
OUTSIDE, THEY WILL BE MORE
ACTIVE.
AND I THINK IT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT
AFTER-SCHOOL, A BUNCH OF KIDS ON
THE STREET.
THAT'S THE PIECE THAT'S MISSING
RIGHT NOW AND IT'S SHOWING UP
THAT THAT'S THE CRITICALLY
IMPORTANT PIECE FOR A LIFE-LONG
LOVE OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS
KIDS OF DIFFERENT AGES PLAYING
TOGETHER, LEARNING TO PLAY,
SETTING THEIR OWN RULES, NOT
HAVING ADULTS GUIDE EVERYTHING
THAT THEY'RE DOING BUT FIGURING
IT OUT THEMSELVES AND HOW TO
PLAY AND BE ACTIVE AND HAVE FUN
WITH WHOEVER SHOWS UP.

Steve says ONE OF YOUR
COLLEAGUES I GATHER DID A STUDY
ON THIS.
KIDS 8 TO 12, HOW CLOSE ARE THEY
TO MEETING WHAT YOU WOULD
CONSIDER TO BE A BASIC STANDARD
FOR PHYSICAL LITERACY?

The caption changes to "Patricia Longmuir. University of Ottawa."
Then, it changes again to "ABCs of physical literacy."

Patricia says THEY'RE NOT.
MARC AND I PUBLISHED SOME DATA
LAST YEAR.

Steve says MARC TREMBLAY.

Patricia says YEAH, MARC TREMBLAY, ON OVER
10,000 CANADIAN CHILDREN.
AND ONLY ABOUT A THIRD OF THE
CANADIAN CHILDREN THAT WE TESTED
ARE MEETING THE RECOMMENDED
LEVEL OF PHYSICAL LITERACY.

Steve says A THIRD?

Patricia says YEAH.
SO TWO-THIRDS ARE NOT, WE SAY
THEY'RE BEGINNING OR PROGRESSING
THEIR PHYSICAL LITERACY JOURNEY,
BUT THEY DEFINITELY NEED TO
IMPROVE IN VARIOUS ASPECTS OF
PHYSICAL LITERACY, AND IT
INCLUDES NOT ONLY THOSE
FUNDAMENTAL MOTOR SKILLS BUT
THINGS LIKE THEIR MOTIVATION FOR
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, THEIR
CONFIDENCE FOR PHYSICAL
ACTIVITY, THEIR KNOWLEDGE ABOUT
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, THEIR
PHYSICAL FITNESS AND THEIR
ABILITY TO PARTICIPATE.
SO IT'S A VARIETY OF FACTORS,
BUT, YEAH, IT'S ONLY ONE-THIRD.

Steve says I'M GOING TO GET
SEAN IN HERE NOW.
YOU'VE WRITTEN ABOUT A BOOK
ABOUT YOUR ATTEMPT TO GET YOUR
KILLS INVOLVED IN PHYSICAL
LITERACY, "BEFORE THE LIGHTS GO
OUT."
HOW DID THAT JOURNEY GO FOR YOU?

The caption changes to "Sean Fitz-Gerald. Author, 'Before the lights go out.'"

Sean says I HAVE TWO CHILDREN.
MY ELDEST, HE IS ABSOLUTELY
INVOLVED IN HOCKEY.
HE LIVES AND BREATHES IT.
HE IS PART OF A ROCH CARRIER
STORY, ON THE BACK OF THE
FIVE-DOLLAR BILL.
HE'S SKATING.
HE'S MADE FRIENDS.
I PLAYS HOCKEY ALL THE TIME.
HE WATCHES HOCKEY.
HE TRADES HOCKEY CARDS.
HIS YOUNGER SISTER IS GOING INTO
HOCKEY SCHOOL THIS FALL.
SO WE'RE IN THAT AND WE'RE
STARTING TO SEE THE BENEFITS OF
IT.
IT'S THE PHYSICAL LITERACY, IT'S
THE CONFIDENCE, IT'S THE ABILITY
TO INTERACT WITH OTHER CHILDREN
AND FRANKLY, YOU KNOW, HE HAS A
FITBIT NOW WHERE HE'S MATCHING
HIS OUTPUT YESTERDAY WITH WHAT
HE HOPES TO ACCOMPLISH TOMORROW
AND COMPETING WITH FRIENDS.

Steve says HOW OLD IS HE?

Sean says 8 YEARS OLD.

Steve says HE HAS A FITBIT ON
ALREADY.

Sean says ALREADY.
YOU HAVE TO GET DOWN TO THE
SCHOOLS TO SEE WHAT'S GOING ON HERE.

Steve says WHAT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE?
YOU HAVE TWO KIDS AS WELL?

The caption changes to "Nick Wattie. Ontario Tech University."

Nick says NO.
WE'RE EXPECTING OUR FIRST IN
AUGUST.
I HAVE TO GET THEM OUT RUNNING
AND ALL SORTS OF STUFF.
AND NO SCREENS.
I'LL HAVE TO MAKE SURE OF THAT.
THANKS.
NO, IN TERMS OF PHYSICAL
LITERACY, MOST OF MY RESEARCH
AND WORK IS IN DEVELOPING
HIGH-PERFORMANCE ATHLETES.
AND SO PHYSICAL LITERACY IS
SOMETHING THAT'S QUITE OFTEN
COMING UP.
TO ME IT DEPENDS A LITTLE BIT ON
THE CHILD AND WHO YOU'RE
ACTUALLY LOOKING AT.
IF THE CHILD IS IN SPORT, IF
THEY'RE HIGHLY ACTIVE, PHYSICAL
LITERACY IS LARGELY NOT AN
ISSUE.
IF THEY'RE NOT, IF THEY'RE
SIMPLY TRYING TO GET THEIR
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AT HOME OR IN
PHYSICAL EDUCATION CLASS, MAYBE
THAT'S WORTH LOOKING.
THE OTHER ISSUE FOR ME IS
PHYSICAL LITERACY IS A VERY KIND
OF BROAD THING.
THERE ARE LOTS OF DIFFERENT
COMPONENTS TO IT.
CATCHING, THROWING, KICKING,
RUNNING, HOPPING, ALL THESE
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SKILLS.
TO YOUR POINT, PAT, I THINK IT'S
ABOUT FINDING, WHAT DOES THAT
CHILD ENJOY AND THAT THEY CAN
DERIVE SOME CONFIDENCE FROM AND
SOME, YOU KNOW, ENJOYMENT FROM,
AND GO THERE.
I MEAN, I HAVE FRIENDS IN SCHOOL
THAT COULDN'T CATCH OR THROW TO
SAVE THEIR LIVES, BUT THEY COULD
JUST RUN LIKE LIGHTNING,
CROSS-COUNTRY.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says SO FIND SOMETHING.

Nick says FIND SOMETHING.
FIND WHAT YOU ENJOY.
FIND WHAT YOU'RE GOOD AT.
I THINK THAT'S WHAT WE NEED TO
TEASE APART A LITTLE BIT WITH
PHYSICAL LITERACY, BECAUSE IT'S
A BIG, COMPLICATED COMBINATION
OF THINGS.

Steve says I MISSPOKE A SECOND
AGO.
I GAVE MARK'S TWO KIDS FOR YOU
FOR SOME REASON.
MARK HAS THE TWO KIDS.
TELL US HOW YOU'RE HANDLING THIS
WHOLE PHYSICAL LITERACY THING TO THEM?

The caption changes to "Mark Verbeek, @Beek4PL."

Mark says AGAIN, TO THE
POINTS THAT HAVE BEEN BROUGHT
UP, I THINK IT'S KIND OF
FINDING, YOU KNOW, THE NICHE FOR
YOUR KIDS, AND FOR ME, I KNOW,
FROM MY BACKGROUND IN
HIGH-PERFORMANCE SPORT BUT ALSO
JUST BEING KIND OF LESS PRESSURE
ON THE PERFORMANCE SIDE AND MORE
ON THE EXPLORATION.
SO MY GUYS ARE 9 AND 5 YEARS
OLD, AND THEY ARE DEFINITELY
DIFFERENT PROFILES.
MY SON HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN
SPORTS SINCE HE WAS 4 YEARS OLD
AND MY DAUGHTER THE SAME.
SO IT'S MORE ABOUT THEM
EXPLORING DIFFERENT
ENVIRONMENTS, AND AS A PARENT,
PROVIDING THEM OPPORTUNITIES TO
GET IN WATER, TO DO TRAMPOLINE,
TO BE ABLE TO PLAY MORE
ORGANIZED, STRUCTURED ACTIVITIES
LIKE SOCCER, AND JUST GIVING
THEM A WIDE RANGE OF
OPPORTUNITIES AND, YOU KNOW,
GETTING THEM OUTSIDE, LIKE WAS
SAID EARLIER, JUST ALLOWING THEM
TO GO OUT AND EXPLORE THEIR
NEIGHBOURHOOD, THEIR BACK YARD,
AND NOT BEING SO STRUCTURED IN
TERMS OF THEIR TIME.

Steve says I'M GOING TO PULL A
LITTLE AUDIBLE HERE.
SHELDON, I NEED A CLOSE-UP.
WHICH CAMERA DO YOU WANT TO DO
IT ON?
BETH, GET THAT BABY FINGER UP
HERE FOR A SECOND.

[LAUGHTER]

Steve says HOLD YOUR BABY FINGER UP.
OKAY.
CAN WE GET A CLOSE-UP SHOT OF
BETH'S BABY FINGER?

As Beth holds up her left hand, a close-up shot reveals her left baby finger is bent.

Steve continues THAT IS THE FINGER OF SOMEBODY
WHO PLAYED SOCCER AS A
15-YEAR-OLD AND BROKE IT AND
SOMEBODY... WHAT DID THE COACH SAY?

Beth says MY COACH
SAID, WELL, YOU HAVE NINE MORE,
SO KEEP GOING.

Steve says THAT'S AN
INTERESTING APPROACH TO TAKE TO
TRY TO GET SOMEBODY TO DO
PHYSICAL LITERACY.
IT OBVIOUSLY DIDN'T THROW YOU
OFF THE PATH BECAUSE HERE YOU'RE
STILL DOING IT.

Beth says IT'S TRUE.

Steve says WHY DID IT NOT
INTIMIDATE YOU TO TRY SOMETHING
ELSE?

Beth says WELL, ONE, BACK THEN, THE
COACH... WHAT THE COACH SAID, I
DID.

Steve says YOU DID.

The caption changes to "Beth McCharles, @BethMcCharles."

Beth says SO HE SAID DO 22 LAPS, OR SHE
SAID, AND I DID WHAT THEY SAID,
AND THAT'S JUST HOW I WAS MOLDED
AND HOW I WAS DRIVEN IN
ATHLETICS.
I ALWAYS WANTED TO GET BETTER,
AND THAT WAS JUST WHO I WAS.

Steve says YOU HAVE THREE KIDS.

Beth says I HAVE THREE KIDS.

Steve says THEY'RE ALL
INVOLVED, OBVIOUSLY.

Beth says ALL INVOLVED.
ALL VERY DIFFERENT.

Steve says IF A COACH HAD SAID
TO ONE OF YOUR KIDS, JUST SNAP
IT BACK INTO PLACE, YOU HAVE
NINE MORE FINGERS, GET BACK OUT
THERE?

Beth says I WOULD HAVE A DIFFERENT
ANSWER.

Steve says HOW ABOUT IN TERMS
OF THE GENDERS, DO YOU APPROACH
WHAT YOU DO DIFFERENTLY IF IT'S
A MALE ATHLETE VERSUS A FEMALE
ATHLETE?

Beth says FOR ME IT WOULDN'T BE ABOUT
THE GENDERS, IT WOULD BE ABOUT
THE PERSON.
SO I HAVE TWO BOYS AND A GIRL,
AND EACH ONE OF THEM IS
COMPLETELY MOTIVATED IN A
DIFFERENT STYLE.
SO ONE OF THEM WOULD BE... WANTS
TO PRACTISE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE,
AND ONE OF THEM IS A NATURAL
ATHLETE, BUT IF I GAVE THEM THE
NINTENDO FOR 12 HOURS, THEY
WOULD USE IT.

Steve says THEY'D DO THAT TOO.

Beth says YEAH.
AND I THINK, YOU KNOW... AS THEY
GROW, YOU JUST HAVE TO LOOK AT
THEIR PROFILE, LIKE MARK SAID,
AND KIND OF MOULD IT, JUST LIKE
COACHING OR TEACHING, WE HAVE TO
TEACH THE INDIVIDUAL AS OPPOSED
TO ONE PERSON FOR EVERYBODY OR
ONE WAY FOR EVERYBODY.

Steve says I THINK I'VE GOT, I
HOPE, A USEFUL FOLLOW-UP FOR
MARK HERE, INASMUCH AS I HAVE
HEARD THAT IF YOU HAD A BAD
EXPERIENCE AS A KID IN GYM
CLASS, WHICH IS WHAT YOU TEACH,
AFTER ALL, CHANCES ARE YOUR
PHYSICAL LITERACY WILL BE LOUSY
FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
CONVERSELY, IF YOU ENJOYED GYM
AS A KID, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE
AN ISSUE FOR THE REST OF YOUR
LIFE.
HOW DO YOU MAKE PHYS. ED. MORE
ENJOYABLE SO WE GET MORE KIDS
OBVIOUSLY TURNING INTO ADULTS
WHO WANT TO BE PHYSICALLY LITERATE?

The caption changes to "State of physical education in schools."

Mark says I THINK A LOT
OF THAT HAS TO DO WITH JUST THE
PREMISE OF IT BEING PHYSICAL
EDUCATION AND NOT GYM CLASS.
LIKE I THINK WE'VE ALL KIND OF
COME FROM A WORLD WHERE WE DO
PHYS. ED. IN GYM, BUT PHYS. ED.
OCCURS IN MULTIPLE ENVIRONMENTS
NOW.
THERE'S MORE SCHOOLS THAT ARE,
YOU KNOW, DOING SWIMMING TO
SURVIVE PROGRAMS, THERE'S MORE
ICE SKATING HAPPENING AND
CURLING.
SO JUST THAT WHOLE UNDERSTANDING
THAT PHYS. ED. IS REALLY THE
CURRICULUM OF TEACHING KIDS HOW
TO MOVE AND THAT IT HAPPENS IN A
GYMNASIUM.
SO AS PHYSICAL EDUCATORS, AS WE
APPROACH OUR STUDENTS AND LOOK
AT THEM, YOU KNOW, COLLECTIVELY
BUT INDIVIDUALLY, WE'RE TRYING
TO FILL THE GAPS SO THAT THEY
CAN, YOU KNOW, DEVELOP THESE
FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS AND MOVE
BETTER AND HAVE A WANT TO MOVE
BETTER.
EVERYBODY'S ON THIS PHYSICAL
LITERACY JOURNEY.
IT'S JUST A MATTER OF HOW MUCH
EXPERIENCES AND EXPOSURE AND HOW
MUCH THEY VALUE MOVEMENT IN
THEIR LIVES.

Steve says ANY SENSE ABOUT HOW
WE COMPARE IN THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO TO THE REST OF CANADA?

Mark says I THINK IT'S PRETTY STANDARD
ACROSS THE BOARD.
I MEAN, IT'S A PROBLEM THAT
WE'RE SEEING ACROSS, AND IF WE
LOOK AT OUR NEIGHBOURS TO THE
SOUTH, THEY'RE PROBABLY, IF YOU
LOOK STATISTICALLY, THEY'RE
ABOUT FIVE YEARS AHEAD OF US.
SO THEY'RE HAVING A LOT MORE
ISSUES AROUND OBESITY AND EARLY
CHILDHOOD DISEASES AND THINGS
LIKE THAT.
SO WE'RE LEARNING A LOT FROM
THEM AND TRYING TO REALLY GET
THE MESSAGE OUT AROUND PHYSICAL
LITERACY AND HOW TO DEVELOP AND
MAKING SURE PHYS. ED. AND
QUALITY SPORT HAPPENS AT THE
VOLUNTEER LEVEL, ALL THE WAY UP
TO THE HIGH PERFORMANCE.

Steve says ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT MAY INHIBIT US GETTING
BETTER AT THIS, AND YOU HAD
THREE KIDS... YOU HAVE THREE
KIDS IN HOCKEY?
AND YOUR KIDS ARE IN HOCKEY.
DO YOU HAVE ANY KIDS IN HOCKEY?

Patricia says A NIECE AND NEPHEW.

Steve says I HAD KIDS IN HOCKEY.
HERE'S THE THING.
BECOMING AN ATHLETE IS
EXPENSIVE, OR IT SURE CAN BE.
AND THIS IS SOMETHING... I WANT
TO READ A LITTLE EXCERPT HERE.
MANY OF YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF
WAYNE SIMMONDS, HE'S ORIGINALLY
FROM THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO,
HAD A GOOD RUN IN THE PLAYOFFS
WITH THE NASHVILLE PREDATORS
THIS YEAR.
HERE'S WHAT HE HAD TO SAY ABOUT
THIS...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Paying for a pricey dream." The quote reads "By the time I turned 16, I was still playing AA hockey because my family simply couldn't afford the AAA registration fees. The Toronto Jr. Canadiens came to scout me, and they offered me a spot on their team. It was pretty much my last chance to step up a level and keep my dream alive. But the registration fee was 5000 dollars.
My aunts and uncles chipped in. My dad went to the owner of his construction company and got him to chip in. So many people helped me. It was up to me to come up with the rest, so all summer long, I woke up every morning with my dad at 5 AM and we were out at the construction site by six.
By the end of the summer, I came up with the last 2500 dollars for the registration fee, and I was a Junior Canadien. It was my ticket into Junior hockey."
Quoted from Wayne Simmonds, The Players' Tribune. April 9, 2018.

Steve says WAYNE CAME FROM A
FAMILY OF FIVE KIDS.
HIS DAD WORKED CONSTRUCTION.
HIS MOM WAS A SECRETARY.
THEY MADE THE IMPOSSIBLE
POSSIBLE.
AND, YOU KNOW, LET'S SAY IT.
FABULOUS.
IT WORKED OUT FOR HIM.
HE'S ON A SIX-YEAR CONTRACT.
HE'S MAKING 24 MILLION BUCKS ON
THE CONTRACT, SO IT WORKED OUT
FOR HIM.
IS THIS THE TYPICAL MINOR HOCKEY
EXPERIENCE, THOUGH?

The caption changes to "Sean Fitz-Gerald, @SeanFitz_Gerald."
Then, it changes again to "Barriers and obstacles."

Sean says YES, NOW.
THE HOCKEY WE TALK ABOUT AND
THINK ABOUT WHEN WE CLOSE OUR
EYES AND SEE MAYBE THE TIM
HORTON'S COMMERCIAL, MAYBE
PEOPLE SKATING ON PONDS, NICE
SNOWFALL.
IT DOESN'T HAPPEN ANYMORE.
THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR DID A
REALLY INTERESTING PIECE THREE
YEARS AGO WHERE THEY REACHED OUT
TO ALL 20 ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE
FRANCHISES AND REQUESTED THE
POSTAL CODES OF EACH OF THE KIDS
ON THE ROSTER.
SO THERE WAS NO PERSONAL
INFORMATION OTHER THAN WHERE
THEY CAME FROM.
THEY HEARD BACK FROM 13 OF THE
20, AND SO IT WORKED OUT TO
ABOUT 220 PLAYERS.
WHAT THEY FOUND WAS THAT
80 PERCENT OF THOSE PLAYERS CAME
FROM POSTAL CODES WHERE THE
AVERAGE INCOME WAS MUCH HIGHER
THAN THE PROVINCIAL AVERAGE, AND
SOME ARE MUCH, MUCH HIGHER.
AND OVERWHELMINGLY NOW THEY COME
FROM URBAN AREAS.
SO THE COMPOSITE SKETCH THAT YOU
HAVE NOW OF SOMEBODY WHO DOES
GET ON THAT TRACK TO ELITE
HOCKEY... IT'S NOT EVEN ELITE
HOCKEY NOW.
IT'S SINGLE A, IT'S DOUBLE A,
IT'S GETTING IN.
IT COSTS A LOT OF MONEY.
NOT JUST THE HARD CAPITAL
INVESTMENT.
IT'S THE TIME.
SO DO YOU HAVE ACCESS TO A CAR?
DO YOU HAVE THE FLEXIBILITY TO
GET OUT TO A 5 P.M. PRACTICE ON
A WEDNESDAY?
ARE YOU ABLE TO GIVE UP EVERY
WEEKEND FOR GAMES, PRACTICES,
TOURNAMENTS?
THE BARRIERS THAT HAVE BEEN
ALLOWED TO GROW AROUND HOCKEY IN
PARTICULAR, BUT TO A LARGER
EXTENT OTHER SPORTS AS WELL, BUT
I'M FOCUSING ON HOCKEY BECAUSE
IT WAS ON THE BACK OF OUR
CURRENCY, THE BARRIERS ARE
SIGNIFICANT.

Steve says PATRICIA, WHAT DO WE
DO ABOUT THAT?

The caption changes to "Patricia Longmuir, @CHEOhospital."

Patricia says WELL, I
THINK OBVIOUSLY ENCOURAGING KIDS
TO HAVE A VARIETY OF INTERESTS
AND HAVE HOCKEY JUST TO BE ONE
PART OF THEIR LIFE IS REALLY
IMPORTANT.
WE KNOW, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT ONLY
30 PERCENT OF KIDS INVOLVED IN
ORGANIZED SPORT WILL CONTINUE
BEYOND THE AGE OF 11 OR 12.

Steve says REALLY?

Patricia says YEAH.

Steve says THAT FEW?

Patricia says SO 70 PERCENT DROP OUT BEFORE
THEY ENTER THEIR TEENAGE YEARS
AND THEN FROM THOSE, OF THAT
30 PERCENT, ONLY ABOUT
10 PERCENT WILL CONTINUE ON
BEYOND THEIR HIGH SCHOOL YEARS,
SO YOU'VE GOT 3 PERCENT OF THE
KIDS WHO STARTED CONTINUING
BEYOND THE HIGH SCHOOL YEARS,
AND ONLY ONE IN 100 OF THAT
3 PERCENT WILL GET ANY SORT OF
SCHOLARSHIP.
SO THIS MYTH THAT WE'RE GOING TO
GET... YOU KNOW, OUR KID'S
UNIVERSITY IS GOING TO BE PAID
IF I GET THEM TO SPECIALIZE IS
REALLY SUCH A SMALL, SMALL
PERCENTAGE, AND THEY'RE MISSING
OUT ON A LOT OF THE FUN TIMES
THAT YOU TALKED ABOUT EVERY DAY
AFTER SCHOOL, PLAYING WITH
FRIENDS ON THE STREET.
IF YOU HAVE TO GO TO GYMNASTICS
PRACTICE OR YOU HAVE TO GO TO
HOCKEY PRACTICE, YOU MISS OUT ON
THAT.

Beth says WELL-ROUNDED HUMAN BEINGS, RIGHT?

Steve says MARK, LET ME GET YOU
IN ON THAT.
WE'VE HAD KARL SUBBAN IN THIS
STUDIO BEFORE AND HE TALKED
ABOUT THE FACT THAT I THINK HE
WAS SPENDING 15,000 A YEAR TO
REGISTER HIS THREE SONS FOR
THEIR MINOR HOCKEY LEAGUES AT
ONE POINT.
AGAIN, IT WORKED OUT FOR THE
SUBBANS.
THEY HAVE THREE KIDS IN THE NHL
AND THAT'S WONDERFUL.
BUT WHAT DO PLAYERS FROM LOWER
SOCIOECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS DO
ABOUT THIS?

Mark says YEAH.
AND I THINK A LOT OF IT HAS TO
DO WITH THE SPORT.
I THINK, YOU KNOW, AS PHYS. ED.
TEACHERS AND AS SPORT LEADERS,
WE REALLY HAVE GOT TO LOOK AT
HOW WE CAN DIVERSIFY, YOU KNOW,
CHILDREN'S PORTFOLIOS.
SO ALLOW THEM TO HAVE MULTIPLE
EXPERIENCES IN DIFFERENT PLACES
AND SPACES, BECAUSE, AS WAS
MENTIONED, IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT
IT IN TERMS OF THE LONG TERM,
GOING BEYOND JUST THE FINANCIAL
SIDE OF IT, YOU WANT THEM TO
ENJOY MOVEMENT FOR LIFE, AND
THAT CAN BE, YOU KNOW, RUNNING A
LOCAL MARATHON TO PLAYING SOME
ORGANIZED CLUB OR REC.
I THINK STUDENTS... YOU KNOW,
THERE ARE BARRIERS TO COSTS.
I MEAN, I PLAYED FOOTBALL
BECAUSE IT WAS REALLY CHEAP.
THEY RENTED YOU THE EQUIPMENT
AND I ENJOYED HITTING PEOPLE
REALLY HARD.

[LAUGHTER]

Mark says AND BEING ALLOWED TO DO THAT.
BUT IT OPENED UP A LOT OF
OPPORTUNITIES IN OTHER SPORTS.
I PLAYED VARSITY BASKETBALL,
VARSITY VOLLEYBALL.
SO IT WAS REALLY
COMPARTMENTALIZED IN THE
SEASONS.
AND AS WAS MENTIONED, THE MORE
EXPERIENCES, THE MORE FRIENDS...
A GUY I PLAYED WITH IS HERE AS A
CURRICULUM CONSULTANT FOR PE AND
HE WAS ON MY BASKETBALL TEAM IN
HAMILTON.
IT OPENS UP YOUR NETWORK AND
IT'S MORE THAN ABOUT THE HIGH
PERFORMANCE AND GETTING THE
SCHOLARSHIP, IT'S ABOUT THE
FRIENDS AND FUN AND ENJOYING THE
JOURNEY AS YOU'RE GOING THROUGH.

Steve says WITH APOLOGIES TO
THE REST OF YOU, MARK IS MY
FAVOURITE GUEST.
HE PLAYED FOR THE HAMILTON
TIGER-CATS.
SO I'M GOING TO... I'M GOING TO
DECLARE MY BIAS RIGHT UP FRONT
RIGHT THERE AND TELL YOU, MARK,
AS WELL, WE'RE ABOUT TO LOSE OUR
SATELLITE.
I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR SHOWING
UP AND JOINING US ON TVO TONIGHT
AND CONTRIBUTING TO OUR PROGRAM.
THANKS VERY MUCH.

Mark says APPRECIATE YOU HAVING ME.

Steve says OSKEE WEE WEE, AS THEY SAY.

Mark says ALL RIGHT.

Steve says CAN WE ALSO...
AGAIN, THERE IS THIS DREAM AND
YOU HEAR ABOUT THE ODD STORY
WHERE, FOR EXAMPLE, LET'S TAKE
MATT DUCHENE, A GUY WHO HAS ALSO
HAD A NICE PLAYOFF RUN THIS
YEAR.
13 YEARS IN MINOR HOCKEY.
HIS FATHER ESTIMATES HE INVESTED
MORE THAN 300,000 dollars, WHICH
INCLUDED A LOSS OF INCOME,
BECAUSE HIS DAD... I GUESS HE
WAS IN REAL ESTATE AND HE
COULDN'T BE SHOWING PEOPLE HOMES
BECAUSE HE WAS ALWAYS DRIVING
MATT TO A CONFERENCE... OR TO
GAMES, RATHER.
NOW, MATT IS ON A FIVE-YEAR,
30 MILLION dollar CONTRACT, SO IT ALL
WORKED OUT FOR MATT.
ARE ANY OF YOUR KIDS GOING TO BE
IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE,
DO YOU THINK?

Beth says PROBABLY NOT.
THAT'S NOT MY EXPECTATION
EITHER.

Steve says THIS IS THE THING,
RIGHT?
WE SOMETIMES GET OUR KIDS
INVOLVED IN ALL OF THIS BECAUSE
WE HOPE THERE'S A POT OF GOLD AT
THE END OF THE RAINBOW, AND
THAT'S GOING TO BE THE
EXPERIENCE OF ONE ONE-MILLIONTH
OF A PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE
INVOLVED, RIGHT?

Beth says IF MY KIDS ARE PLAYING BEER
HOCKEY AT THE END OF THE DAY AND
STILL 60 OR 70 WHEN PLAYING...

Steve says YOU'RE HAPPY.

Beth says SUCCESS.
THEY HAVE THOSE NETWORKS AND
THOSE CONNECTIONS, YEAH.
LIKE WE SAID BEFORE, THERE'S A
LOT OF PRESSURE, NOT ONLY JUST
TO GET THEM ON THE ICE AND TO
PAY THE FEE JUST TO GET THEM IN,
IT'S THE PRESSURE OF PRIVATE
PRACTICES AND EXTRA SKILLS AND
ALL OF THIS, WHERE PARENTS ARE
INVOLVED.
SO IT'S TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH
THE NEXT PERSON.
AND IT'S A REAL THING, AND IT'S
A REAL PROBLEM OUT THERE.

Steve says NICK, WHAT IS THE
RISK OF A PLAYER SPECIALIZING IN
A SPORT AT TOO YOUNG AN AGE?

Nick says WELL,
THERE'S... ALSO, I MEAN, THERE
CAN BE A RISK OF INJURY.
THERE CAN BE A DECREASE OF
ENJOYMENT OF THE SPORT,
SOMETHING LIKE BURNOUT.

Steve says YOU HEAR THAT A LOT,
DON'T YOU?

The caption changes to "Nick Wattie, @wattien."

Nick says YOU DO HEAR THAT A LOT.
THERE'S A LOT OUT THERE...
SHOULD KIDS SPECIALIZE EARLY?
SHOULD THEY PLAY LOTS OF
DIFFERENT SPORTS?
TO BE HONEST, THAT DISCUSSION IS
KIND OF LIKE... IN MY ROLE, IT'S
A BIT LIKE THE ANIMAL FARM.
INSTEAD OF TWO LEGS VERSUS FOUR,
IT'S, YOU KNOW, DIVERSIFY, GOOD.
SPECIALIZE, BAD.
TO BE HONEST, I ACTUALLY DON'T
THINK WE'VE GOT AS CONCRETE OF
EVIDENCE TO HAVE THAT
DISTINCTION.
I THINK, YOU KNOW, THERE'S LOTS
OF DIFFERENT WAYS TO PARTICIPATE
IN SPORT.
THE DEFINITIONS OF EACH OF THOSE
IS KIND OF TRICKY.
YOU KNOW, WHAT IS SPECIALIZING?
DO YOU SPECIALIZE IN JUST ONE
SPORT?
IS IT YEAR AROUND?
HOW COMPETITIVE DOES IT HAVE TO BE.

The caption changes to "Socialization versus diversification."

Steve says LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY.
WAYNE GRETZKY SAID ONE OF THE
REASONS HE WAS SUCH A GREAT
HOCKEY PLAYER, THE GREATEST
HOCKEY PLAYER, IS THAT HE PLAYED
BASEBALL IN THE SUMMER.
HE WAS ABLE FOR A FEW MONTHS OF
THE YEAR TO GET AWAY FROM
HOCKEY.
SO WHEN HE CAME BACK TO IT IN
THE FALL, HE FELT REJUVENATED.
IS THERE SOMETHING TO THAT?

Nick says OH, YEAH.
I MEAN, ABSOLUTELY.
I THINK IT MIGHT DEPEND ON THE
CHILD.
IF THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES FOR THEM
TO BE MOTIVATED AND STAY
MOTIVATED AND ENJOY A SPORT.
THE FLIP SIDE IS IF YOU HAVE AN
ATHLETE AND THEY'RE COMPLETELY
PASSIONATE ABOUT, SAY, HOCKEY,
IS IT GOOD TO FORCE THEM INTO
ANOTHER ACTIVITY THAT THEY WANT
NOTHING TO DO WITH OR BE INTO?
IT'S A BIG QUESTION MARK.
I DON'T THINK WE HAVE THE
ANSWERS TO THAT YET.
SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE
DRIVING SOME REALLY INTERESTING
RESEARCH IN ONTARIO RIGHT NOW.

Steve says WE HAVE SOME DEBATING POINTS.
PATRICIA, I'LL GET YOU TO
COMMENT FIRST.
WE'RE GOING TO BRING UP A SERIES
OF TWEETS.
THERE IS A VIEW OUT THERE YOU
SHOULD TRY TO DO SOMETHING ELSE
OTHER THAN THE THING YOU'RE
MOSTLY PASSIONATE ABOUT IN THE
OFF-SEASON.
YOU KNOW, JUST BECAUSE.
HERE'S A TWEET, ONE PERSON
TWEETED...

A tweet appears on screen. It reads "Sounds good, but as the parent of a hockey player, baseball player... when September/October comes around, the kids who are year round hockey have a leg up at tryouts hockey (same for ball in the spring)... it's only Pewee, but diversification will cost my son a spot on teams."

Steve says OKAY.
THAT'S ONE TWEET.
NEXT ONE.
THIS IS FROM GRANT FUHR, WHO
USED TO PLAY GOAL FOR THE
EDMONTON OILERS AND TORONTO AND
BUFFALO AND ST. LOUIS.
ANYWAY, HE WEIGHS IN...

A tweet by Grant Fuhr appears on screen. It reads "I disagree with that I played hockey when that season ended I played ball and for a couple of years football as well I don't feel it hurt my chances of making any teams I found I was mentally fresher and excited to go to tryouts."

Steve says LET'S DO ONE LAST
ONE.
ANOTHER PARENT SAYING...

A tweet appears on screen. It reads "I don't disagree with the concept. It just isn't a practical option. There is NO TIME for other sports when you play at the level my kids are at..."

Steve says OKAY.
PATRICIA, DISCUSS.

Patricia says WELL, I
THINK... I THINK WE HAVE TO SORT
OF DISPEL THE MYTH THAT EARLY
SPECIALIZATION AUTOMATICALLY
LEADS TO GREATER SUCCESS.
IN FACT, WE'VE DONE RESEARCH...
OR NOT ME, BUT OTHERS HAVE DONE
RESEARCH THAT HAVE LOOKED AT
ATHLETES PLAYING AT THE NCAA
LEVEL, FOR INSTANCE, OR THE
PROFESSIONAL LEVEL.
AND IF YOU TAKE SOMETHING LIKE
FOOTBALL, 13 PERCENT OF FOOTBALL
PLAYERS WHO ARE PLAYING AT THAT
LEVEL DID FOOTBALL ONLY DURING
THEIR CAREER.
THE OTHER 87 PERCENT DID
DIVERSIFIED SPORTS AND ONLY
PICKED UP SPECIALIZED IN THEIR
SPORT... IT'S NOT JUST FOOTBALL,
IT'S TRACK, IT'S OTHER THINGS AS
WELL.

Steve says AND CLEARLY DIDN'T
HURT THAT 80-PLUS PERCENT?

Patricia says NO.
THE OTHER THING THAT'S IMPORTANT
TO CONSIDER IS CHILDREN,
ESPECIALLY YOUNG CHILDREN, ARE
DEVELOPING, AND THEIR BODIES ARE
STILL DEVELOPING.
SO IF YOU BREAK YOUR LEG WHEN
YOU'RE 25, YOU BREAK YOUR LEG
AND YOU GET OVER IT AND IT
HEALS.
IF KIDS BREAK THEIR LEG IN
CERTAIN PLACES, YOU CAN DAMAGE
THE GROWTH PLATES AND THEN THEIR
LEG NO LONGER GROWS.
AND SO THERE ARE HUGE INJURY
RISKS.
WE KNOW ABOUT 50 PERCENT OF
ATHLETIC INJURIES, THAT SPORTS
MEDICINE DOCS SEE, ARE OVERUSE
INJURIES IN KIDS WHO HAVE
SPECIALIZED IN A PARTICULAR
SPORT.

Steve says INTERESTING.

Patricia says SO THE RECOMMENDATION FROM
THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF
PEDIATRICS IS THAT FOR CHILDREN,
AND UP UNTIL THEY'RE BEYOND
PUBERTY, THEY SHOULD HAVE AT
LEAST TWO DAYS A WEEK OFF FROM
THEIR SPORT DURING THE SEASON,
AND THEY SHOULD HAVE ONE MONTH
OFF FROM THE SPORT THREE TIMES
DURING... THREE SEPARATE TIMES
DURING THE YEAR.
SO NOT A THREE-MONTH BLOCK BUT
THREE ONE-MONTH BLOCKS.
THAT GIVES YOU THE BEST CHANCE
TO MINIMIZE THE RISK FROM
OVERUSE INJURIES RELATED TO
SPORTS SPECIALIZATION.

Steve says YOU WANT TO WEIGH IN?

The caption changes to "Sean Fitz-Gerald. The Athletic Toronto."

Sean says HOCKEY CANADA IS TRYING TO
EMPHASIZE NOT SPENDING YEAR
AROUND UNDER ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING
IN A COLD ARENA.
THAT SEEMS INTUITIVE.
IT'S THINGS LIKE HIPS.
YOU THINK ABOUT THE REPETITIVE
MOVEMENTS OF HOCKEY.
THINK ABOUT GOALIES.
13-YEAR-OLD GOALIES WITH HIPS OF
THE PEOPLE OF MUCH, MUCH OLDER
THAN 13 YEARS OLD.
YES, IT WAS THE PHYSIOLOGICAL
ASPECT OF IT.
THERE'S ALSO THE BURNOUT.
YOU MENTIONED EARLIER ABOUT THE
CHILDREN THAT BURN OUT BEFORE
THEY HIT TEENAGE HOOD BECAUSE
IT'S NOT FUN ANYMORE.
RAY FERRARO IS A LONG-TIME NHL
PLAYER WORKING NOW FOR TSN AND
SAID AS SOON AS HE WAS DONE, AS
SOON AS HIS TEAM WAS ELIMINATED
FROM THE HOCKEY PLAYOFFS, THE
RULE WAS THEY PUT THE BAG IN THE
DARKEST, COLDEST PORTION OF THE
BASEMENT, PICKED UP THE BASEBALL
MIT AND DIDN'T GO BACK TO THE
BALL UNTIL SEPTEMBER.
HOCKEY CANADA IS SLOWLY TRYING
TO MOVE TRYOUTS FROM THE SPRING
NOW TO THE FALL.
RIGHT NOW A LOT OF TEAMS TRY OUT
FOR THE SPRING.
WHAT THAT DOES IS IT TURNS
AROUND, YOU HAVE SPRING HOCKEY,
SUMMER HOCKEY, AND ALL OF A
SUDDEN YOU'RE BACK IN SEPTEMBER.
THEY'RE TRYING TO MOVE TRYOUTS
TO SEPTEMBER IN A BID TO PUSH
THE SEASON BACK SO THAT WHEN
YOUR SEASON IS DONE IN THE
SPRING, YOU'RE FREE FOR THE
SUMMER.
IN THEORY, IT WORKS OUT REALLY WELL.

Steve says HOW MUCH, BETH, OF
THIS DO YOU THINK IS PARENTS
LIVING VICARIOUSLY THROUGH THEIR
KIDS AND HOPING FOR THAT BIG
WAYNE SIMMONDS, MATT DUCHENE PAYDAY?
DO YOU SEE IT?

Beth says I SEE TWO
TYPES OF PARENTS THAT COME TO MY
PRACTICE, AND ONE OF THEM
IS, "PLEASE LET THEM JUST GO TO
THE DANCE AND BE REGULAR
PEOPLE," BECAUSE THEY ARE THAT
INTO THE SPORT AND THAT'S ALL
THEY WANT TO DO.
SO THEY COME TO ME AND THEY'RE
LIKE HE OR SHE NEEDS TO BE MORE
WELL-ROUNDED.
LET'S WORK ON THAT.
AND THE FLIP SIDE IS, THIS IS
ALL THEY DO, AND I'VE HAD
PARENTS ASK ME TO HELP THEIR KID
COME BACK FROM CONCUSSION WHEN
THE DOCTOR HAS RECOMMENDED THEY
NOT PLAY EVER AGAIN.
I DECLINED.
IT'S NOT PART OF MY VALUES.
BUT THIS IS WHAT WE'RE WORKING
WITH PARENTS AND I DO THINK IT
REALLY HAPPENS.
I THINK THE PARENTS LIVE THROUGH
THEIR CHILDREN AND DON'T REALLY
UNDERSTAND THAT WE... THAT AT
THE END OF THE DAY WE NEED TO
DEVELOP WELL-ROUNDED, KIND
PEOPLE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Patricia says I ALSO
THINK IT'S OFTEN THE KIDS
THEMSELVES.
I SEE PARENTS AS WELL.
BUT I ALSO SEE IT IN THE KIDS
THEMSELVES.
IF YOU HAVE A CHILD WHO
NATURALLY HAS A VERY COMPETITIVE
PERSONALITY, THEN THEY WANT TO
BE ON THE "A" TEAM.
THEY NEVER WANT TO PLAY REC.,
WHEN THEY PLAY KING OF THE
CASTLE AT RECESS, THEY HAVE TO
BE AT THE TOP OF THE KING OF
CASTLE AND THEY NATURALLY GO
THAT WAY.
SO IF YOU TRY TO PUT THEM INTO
ANOTHER SPORT AND GO TO SWIMMING
LESSONS OR WHATEVER BECAUSE
THEY'RE THE SLOWEST KID BECAUSE
ALL THEY'VE DONE IS PLAY HOCKEY,
NATURALLY THEY DON'T LIKE IT AND
THEY RESIST IT A LOT.
BUT I THINK IT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT TO KEEP THOSE OPTIONS
OPEN BECAUSE OFTEN KIDS DON'T
GET TO TRY VERY MANY DIFFERENT
TYPES OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY WHEN
THEY'RE CHILDREN.
YOU KNOW, WE HAVE HOCKEY,
SOCCER, BASEBALL.
BUT THINGS LIKE, YOU KNOW,
GYMNASTICS, RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS
OR FENCING OR SOME OF THE OTHER,
YOU KNOW, WRESTLING, SOME OF THE
OTHER OLYMPIC SPORTS WHERE YOU
CAN SUCCEED AT A VERY HIGH
LEVEL, DON'T REALLY COME INTO
PLAY FOR YOUNG CHILDREN.
AND SO IF THEY HAVE ONLY TRIED
ONE SPORT, THEN THEY REALLY
DON'T HAVE THE BACKGROUND AND
SKILLS TO MOVE INTO THOSE OTHER
TYPES OF SPORTS ONCE THOSE
OPPORTUNITIES BECOME AVAILABLE.

Beth says WHEN YOU'RE
WORKING WITH THAT NATURAL
ATHLETE, THAT THAT'S ALL THEY
WANT TO DO, IS AT 15, WHEN THEY
FAIL FOR THE FIRST TIME...

Patricia says IT'S DEVASTATING.

Beth says IT'S DEVASTATING.
THEY DON'T HAVE THE TOOLS OR
RESILIENCE TO PUSH THROUGH AND
IT'S STRESS AND IT'S ANXIETY AND
IT'S A HUGE THING FOR THESE KIDS
AT 14 TO GO THROUGH.

Steve says THAT'S WHEN YOU COME
IN, RIGHT?

Beth says THAT'S WHEN I DO COME IN.
BUT IF THEY PLAYED IN THE
PLAYGROUND AND HAD RESILIENCE
AND FAILED THERE MORE AND HAD
OTHER SPORTS...

Steve says THEY'D BE READY FOR IT.

Sean says THIS IS WHEN PARENTS COME IN.
MY KIDS LOVE ICE CREAM.
THEY WOULD EAT ICE CREAM ALL THE
TIME.
SO WOULD I.
DON'T TELL THEM THAT.
HOPEFULLY THEY'RE NOT WATCHING
NOW.
AS A PARENT YOU SAY YOU CAN HAVE
ICE CREAM BUT ALSO EAT YOUR
BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND GET YOUR
FIBRE.
I HATE TO KEEP BLAMING PARENTS.
THEY HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE END
RESULT, WHETHER YOU'RE PLAYING
ELITE SOCCER AND MANGLING YOUR
PINKIE FINGER OR PLAYING HIGH
LEVEL HOCKEY, THE END ISN'T
GETTING THE SCHOLARSHIP OR THE
NHL.
YOU WIN AS A PARENT IF YOUR
CHILD IS OUT OF UNIVERSITY AND
25 YEARS OLD AND SAYING I'M
GOING TO PLAY BEER LEAGUE
HOCKEY.
THEY PICK UP THE PHYSICAL
LITERACY, THEY PICK THAT UP FOR
LIFE.
THEY'RE GOING TO BE MORE
PHYSICALLY ACTIVE.
THAT'S THE GOLD MEDAL FOR A PARENT.

Nick says THERE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT JUMP TO MIND HERE.
AGAIN, THE EARLY SPECIALIZATION
IS THE VILLAIN.
I THINK IT'S THE ROLE OF
PARENTS, COACHES, SPORTS
ORGANIZATIONS TO DECIDE, YOU
KNOW, YOU CAN HAVE
DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE
SPORT, LIKE, YOU KNOW, RIGHT
VOLUME, RIGHT INTENSITY, YOU
KNOW, FOCUS ON FUN, NOT TOO MUCH
COMPETITION, ET CETERA.
SO THAT IF A CHILD IS
PARTICIPATING, YOU CAN HAVE
THOSE SAFEGUARDS IN PLACE SO IF
A KID IS PLAYING ONE SPORT, IT'S
NOT AUTOMATICALLY BAD.
THE OTHER THING THAT I THINK IS
REALLY IMPORTANT TO REALIZE
HERE... I MEAN, I'M NOT A PARENT
YET BUT MAYBE YOU GUYS AND MARK
MAYBE COULD HAVE CHIMED IN BUT,
YOU KNOW, PUTTING YOUR KIDS IN
THREE-PLUS SPORTS A YEAR, TO BE
ABLE TO, ONE, AFFORD THAT, TO
HAVE THE TIME TO DRIVE THEM TO
THOSE SPORTS, PAY FOR THOSE
SPORTS... NOT EVERYONE CAN DO
THAT.
THAT MESSAGE THAT YOU SHOULD BE
DIVERSIFYING ALL THOSE SPORTS,
IT'S SIMPLY NOT POSSIBLE FOR I
WOULD SAY THE MAJORITY OF
CANADIANS.
AND SO IN THAT CONTEXT, WHAT DO
YOU DO?

Steve says BUT IT DOESN'T EVEN
HAVE TO BE ORGANIZED.
WHAT HAPPENED TO SHOOTING HOOPS
AFTER SCHOOL, YOU KNOW, ON THE
PLAYGROUND?

A voice says EXACTLY.

Nick says I MEAN, THAT'S KIND OF A
DIFFERENT PART OF THE PROBLEM IS
THAT BROADLY IN SOCIETY WE'RE
NOT LETTING KIDS GO OUT AND PLAY
ON THEIR OWN ANYMORE.
THERE'S A GREAT BOOK CALLED "THE
CODDLING OF THE AMERICAN MIND,"
THAT DESCRIBES PRECISELY THIS
TREND.
THE RESULT IS IT'S DELAYING
ADULTHOOD FOR TEENAGERS BECAUSE
THEY'RE NOT GETTING TO EXPLORE,
GET IN TROUBLE, DO RISKY THINGS,
LEARN RESILIENCE, THAT TYPE OF
STUFF.
SO I THINK IT'S ALL PART AND
PARCEL FOR SURE.
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE
STRUCTURED, BY ANY MEANS.

Patricia says I ALSO
THINK THAT WE PROBABLY SHOULD
LOOK AT THE VARIATION AND
QUALITY OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION IN
THE SCHOOLS.
IN ONTARIO, WE DON'T... WHEN YOU
GO THROUGH TEACHER EDUCATION AND
GET YOUR TEACHING DEGREE, YOU
HAVE BETWEEN TWO AND A HALF
HOURS AND MAYBE A HALF A DAY IN
YOUR ENTIRE TEACHER EDUCATION
TRAINING FOCUSED ON PHYSICAL
EDUCATION.
SO IF YOU... YOU KNOW, IF YOU'VE
GONE THROUGH UNIVERSITY AND
YOU'VE TAKEN HISTORY OR
WHATEVER, YOU HAVE THAT TWO AND
A HALF HOUR LECTURE ON PHYSICAL
EDUCATION IN ORDER TO TEACH
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AS AN
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER FOR
YOUR ENTIRE CAREER TO YOUR
CHILDREN.

Steve says JUST TELL US WHAT WE
THINK ABOUT THE PRIORITY WE'RE
PUTTING ON PHYSICAL HEALTH.

Patricia says WELL, IT DOES.
SO NEEDLESS TO SAY, WHEN WE
ACTUALLY LOOK AT THE QUALITY OF
PHYSICAL EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS,
IT VARIES TREMENDOUSLY.
IF THE TEACHER HAS THEIR OWN
FAMILY AND THINGS TO LOOK AFTER,
THEY DON'T HAVE TIME TO TAKE
EXTRA COURSES OR MAY NOT HAVE
THE INTEREST.
IN QUEBEC, BY CONTRAST, YOU HAVE
TO BE A PHYSICAL EDUCATION
SPECIALIST TO TEACH PHYSICAL
EDUCATION IN THE ELEMENTARY
SCHOOL LEVELS.
AND I THINK THAT IS AT LEAST ONE
STEP WE COULD LOOK AT TAKING IN
ONTARIO TO TRY AND GIVE KIDS A
BROADER BASE ON THE FUNDAMENTAL
MOVEMENT SKILLS.

Steve says LET ME THROW ANOTHER
ANGLE ON THE TABLE HERE.
TO THAT END, I WANT TO FIND OUT
WHAT THE SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST
THINKS ABOUT A MINOR HOCKEY GAME
IN THIS PROVINCE LAST OCTOBER,
8-YEAR-OLDS FROM KITCHENER BEAT
ANOTHER TEAM FROM CAMBRIDGE
41-TO-NOTHING.
WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT THAT?

The caption changes to "Keeping your head in the game."

Beth says I THINK
THERE'S SO MANY OTHER WAYS TO
HANDLE THAT SITUATION.
I WAS JUST IN A TOURNAMENT...
THERE'S MY CAPE BRETON ACCENT
COMING OUT.
WHAT THEY DID IS ANY TIME THEY
WERE UP BY FOUR, THEY STOPPED
IT.
AND WHEN THE OTHER TEAM SCORED,
THEY PUT ONE MORE UP ON THE
OTHER TEAM.
IT WAS A GREAT CONCEPT.
NO ONE REALLY KNEW WHAT WAS
GOING ON.
THE KIDS DIDN'T NOTICE MUCH.
I THINK THAT WAS ONE WAY TO
COVER THE HUGE DIVERSITY IN THE
GAME.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Steve says IS ANYONE HAVING FUN
IN THE 41-NOTHING GAME?

Patricia says NO.

Sean says THEY'RE PROBABLY HAVING MORE
FUN THAN THE TEAM ON THE OTHER SIDE.

Steve says BUT AT A CERTAIN
POINT IT GETS POINTLESS, DOESN'T IT?

Beth says WHO IS NOT CREATING THE
CHANGE FOR THESE YOUNG 8-YEAR-OLDS?

Nick says I THINK THAT SPEAKS TO A
BROADER PROBLEM THAT I'M SURE
YOU'VE SEEN IN HOCKEY.
THE COACHES OF THESE TEAMS,
THEIR PRIORITY IS WINNING NOW
AND NOT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE
ATHLETES IN THE LONG TERM.
NOT THE DEVELOPMENT OF SKILLS,
MOTIVATION, RESILIENCE... THOSE
TYPES OF LIFE SKILLS EVEN,
POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT.
THEY'RE PICKING THE BIGGEST
KIDS, THE KIDS THAT GIVE THEM
THE CHANCE TO WIN IN THE MOMENT,
AND THAT ENDS UP HURTING, YOU
KNOW, TALENT DEVELOPMENT LONG
TERM, IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT AT
THE HIGHEST LEVEL, AND, YEAH, IT
CAN LEAD TO THINGS LIKE THAT.

Sean says THE PYRAMID.
THAT'S WHY HOCKEY CANADA IN A
LOT OF WAYS IS NOW MOVING
TOWARDS THE EUROPEAN MODEL
WHERE, YOU KNOW, KIDS IN SWEDEN
DON'T SEE A SCORE BOARD UNTIL
THEY'RE ABOUT 12 OR 13 YEARS
OLD.
IT'S DEVELOPMENT.
AND THE GAME TO PRACTISE RATIO,
IT COULD BE ONE GAME TO ONE
PRACTICE OR ONE TO TWO, IT'S THE
OTHER WAY AROUND.
YOU MIGHT PRACTICE THREE TIMES
AND HAVE A GAME.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."
Then, it changes again to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says GANG, THAT'S OUR TIME.
I HAVE TO JUMP IN BECAUSE BETH
AND I HAVE TO GO OFF AND COMPARE
BROKEN FINGERS.
I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY FOR
COMING ONTO TVO AND HELPING US
OUT.
"BEFORE THE LIGHTS GO OUT" IS
SEAN FITZ-GERALD'S CONTRIBUTION
TO THIS AS WELL AND HIS NEW BOOK
WHICH WILL BE OUT SOON.
THANKS, EVERYBODY.

Watch: Re-examining Youth Sport Culture