Thursday, May 8, 2008

2 Minutes in the Box

It's a real shame that so many people fail to see the beauty of the game of hockey. Everyone loves football and it's contact, basketball is fun in the 4th quarter (or late 2nd half in college), and baseball has its fine skills and statistics. Hockey has all of that and more.
It's faster than full speed because it's on ice. The action is non-stop. Athleticism abounds at every position. Any player can be a hero on any given day and at any position. I believe that HD helps hockey on TV, but that it is best seen live.
There's no doubt that it's the most fun sport to play. Ice or floor hockey or even air hockey are all favorites.
JD has yet to appreciate the playing aspects of the game, but he'll watch on TV. Since he was a baby, he's been captivated by hockey on TV. Certainly, it had to do with the motion and colors, but he will still sit and watch a few minutes with me, focused on the play.
Trying to play hockey with him is hazardous. JD's just recently grasped the idea of hitting a ball with the stick. There's still such to learn about holding the stick, hitting the ball to a desired target, and general stick control. I've been hit in the toes more times than I care to remember. When he carries the stick, the blade is at belly height or above. Pretty soon, it's going to be 2 minutes in the box for him.
Maybe that will be part of his discipline; instead of a “time out,” he'll go to the penalty box. I suppose I'll have to designate an appropriate space in the house. Maybe the furnace room. Send him to the basement in a dark, cramped, scary space where he can sit for a couple of minutes to cool off. But is there enough public humiliation there? Part of being in the penalty box is that you are by yourself, feeling shame, and under the view of your teammates, the opposition, and the spectators. A bit like wearing the dunce cap? Maybe, but as a society, don't we make public humiliation part of punishments?
If you are arrested in a suburb, you are put into the police blotter. Celebrities? All over the news, their picture and accusations are front and center. So why are we so obsessed about not humiliating the little ones?
Some of them like the attention. I've heard a saying of Hollywood celebrities that goes something like, I don't care what you write about me as long as you spell my name right. So by making a public spectacle of the wrongdoing child, you are making a spectacle of him or her and giving them unneeded attention or the attention for which they're striving.
Back to hockey, I have to tell you that I love contact. It's really a lot of fun laying a nice hit on the opposition. In my last league game, I was trying to prevent a player from getting a loose puck along the boards. My goal was to get between him and the puck, but I ended up putting my shoulder into him and crushing him against the boards. That was worth 4 minutes in the box. Sometimes being bad does feel good. Just don't tell JD.


  1. I have a friend that has a child whom is obsessed with hockey. The child is only 3, but hockey is his passion. My friend has utilized the child’s interest and knowledge of hockey for better communication and discipline purposes. Like you mentioned before “pretty soon, it's going to be 2 minutes in the box for him. Maybe that will be part of his discipline; instead of a “time out,” he'll go to the penalty box.” Well, that is exactly what my friend and his wife have implemented. It is interesting to see, and the child knows that there is a difference between a 2 minute minor penalty and a 5 minute major penalty. So when mom says “ok, you have a 2 minute penalty” he goes to his area and thinks about the changes he needs to make in his life to be a better person (sulks). Look out when he gets a 5 minute major. He will protest like no other, but he knows that it is a more serious infraction.

  2. Thanks for the info. It makes sense to use language and situations that the child will understand. Who would have thought that hockey could help lead children to good behavior?!? It's good to know that parents use their heads and put kids' passions to good use.