When Helicopter Parents Hover, all the way to the Workplace

Lonzo Ball celebrates with his father LaVar Ball after being introduced as the number two overall pick to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Lonzo Ball celebrates with his father LaVar Ball after being introduced as the number two overall pick to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center.
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Below is an interesting article written by Noam Scheiber of the New York Times News Service. The article goes beyond the extreme Lonzo Ball helicopter phenomena by delving into what some companies will do to face excessive parental hovering head on. I would suggest, while this may work for some companies to take on this strategy, it doesn't do anything for the future development of the young adult who needs to learn how to get on with their lives, on their own. Enjoy.

When the cameras started rolling Thursday night at Barclays Center, scene of the National Basketball Association draft, one of the biggest stories wasn’t a player, but a parent: LaVar Ball, father of UCLA phenom Lonzo Ball, who was projected to be among the top five picks.

As his son rocketed to fame, the elder Ball always seemed one step ahead, declaring that Lonzo would play for the Los Angeles Lakers; lecturing Charles Barkley on the psychology of a champion; comparing his own game to Michael Jordan’s and judging it superior. He is taking a central role in dealings with apparel companies and even teams over his son’s financial future.

But while pundits derided LaVar Ball as the state of the art in obsessive sports dads — an Earl Woods or Stefano Capriati for the social media age — he may actually epitomize a model that extends far beyond the arena: the helicopter parent of the workplace.

As millennials grow into their working years, with many of them coming of age in the daunting job market that followed the Great Recession, parents are more likely to feel a proprietary stake in their children’s careers, said Ryan Webb, a recruiter and former human resources director at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. The hovering is abetted by a full complement of real-time communications options — from texting to Skype and social media — and fueled by the desire to see a return on investment for sending children to college in an age of escalating tuition.

“Mom and Dad footed the college bill, made sacrifices to get that extra thing on their résumé, so they felt part of the process,” said Webb, who said that texting one’s parents was frequently the first reflex for the millennials in his charge after a run-in with a manager.

Brandi Britton, a recruiter with OfficeTeam, a division of the firm Robert Half, said she never saw or heard from parents when she entered the business nearly two decades ago but has increasingly felt their influence. She recalled a father calling her in the past two years in an attempt to get his son an accounting job. The father sent in his son’s résumé, scheduled the interview and, to her surprise, turned up with him in person.

“He was shepherding that thing,” she said.

When OfficeTeam solicited employers’ helicopter-parenting stories in a 2016 survey, they found this was not unheard-of. One told of a job candidate who piped his mother into an interview via Skype, while another recalled a mother asking if she could sit for an interview in place of her child, who had a scheduling conflict. A third mother interrupted in the middle of an interview to ask if she could observe.

While such parents, like LaVar Ball, may be outliers, and most millennials are perfectly capable of negotiating their own way in the workplace,some organizations genuinely appear to be struggling with a scourge of parental meddling. In her book “How to Raise an Adult,” former Stanford freshman dean Julie Lythcott-Haims reports that officials at Teach for America have been mystified in recent years by the volume of parents who intervene on behalf of their adult children, whom the group employs as teachers.

A Teach for America administrator told Lythcott-Haims that parents had called him with complaints about such issues as their child’s being disciplined by a principal or having a run-in with a fellow teacher, as though the adult child were still a student. (Teach for America did not respond to a request for comment.)

Andrea Colabella, a recruiter for companies like hedge funds and private equity firms, said that one of the crucial questions her firm asked candidates before they ever received an offer was, “Who do you need to talk to before you make a decision?” They do so to avoid any last-minute blowups when an offer does come.

“For millennials, at least those who have graduated in the past five years, 80 percent of the time it’s parents, versus friends or a mentor,” she said.

The data would appear to back her up. In a 2015 study by Robert Half that surveyed university students born between 1990 and 1999, more than 80 percent said their parents or guardians would influence their career choices after graduation. (Millennials are generally defined as the generation born between the early 1980s and late 1990s to early 2000s.)

The phenomenon began emerging as millennials hit the job market more than a decade ago. In 2007, the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University published a survey of 725 employers that found that nearly a quarter had encountered parental involvement in the hiring process and the early stages of workers’ careers.

Within that group of employers, more than 30 percent reported parents submitting a résumé for their children; 15 percent reported fielding complaints from a parent when the company didn’t hire their child; and nearly 10 percent said parents had insinuated themselves into salary and benefit negotiations.

In recent years, many companies have begun embracing the relationship between parents and their adult children rather than chafing at it, perhaps even co-opting it for their benefit, which some experts believe has largely defused the worst parental tendencies.

This November, LinkedIn will hold its fifth annual Bring In Your Parents Day, an event the company said has spread to scores of companies globally. Blair Decembrele, a LinkedIn official who oversees the event, said part of the rationale was the realization the workers relied heavily on their parents for career advice.

“My dad came to a few — he’s been really excited about what I do,” she said. “He knows my team, colleagues, boss. We can have much more in-depth conversation about professional career development with him having insight into that.”

Or consider Cornerstone OnDemand, a company based in Santa Monica, California, that develops software that employers use for recruiting, training and managing workers. Cornerstone started its “Bring Your Parents to Work Day” around the same time as LinkedIn, according to Kimberly Cassady, its vice president for talent, partly because employees were already toting their parents to the office.

“It was not uncommon to meet a parent in the elevator, walking around the office,” she said. “They would rave about the place but still have this question — ‘I still don’t know what he/she does.’”

Alexandra Geller, the company’s investor relations manager and a millennial herself, said the event allowed her mother, who flew in from Connecticut, to put faces to recurring characters in their conversations.

“She was able to meet people she hadn’t met in the past, who we talk about on a regular basis,” Geller said.

Perhaps inadvertently, the event has also highlighted some generational differences. According to Cassady, the millennial workers — who make up about half of those who attend — tend to hang out with their parents for parts of the day. The older workers, by contrast, tend to “come in at 10 a.m. and go do their work.”

Of course, professional sports may be the one corner of the workforce where parental involvement was very much the norm long before the millennials turned up, if for no other reason than that it involves adult children playing a kids’ game for a living. One can only assume that NBA parents have been harassing coaches for years, even if they only recently started getting caught doing so by fans with ready access to social media.

Still, there does appear to be something uniquely millennial-parent about LaVar Ball, who in addition to hatching Big Baller Brand, the family apparel line, has created a sports talent agency, Ball Sports Group, whose sole purpose will be to represent Lonzo and his two brothers, high school standouts who are expected to follow their brother to UCLA.

Perhaps most tellingly in this regard, Ball reportedly demanded that any apparel company intent on signing Lonzo license the Big Baller Brand, telling USA Today that a deal including all three sons would have to yield them $1 billion. (The apparel heavyweights all told him no, thanks, according to ESPN.)

While other prominent sports parents have exerted influence over their adult children’s business decisions,“I can’t think of anybody who turned their back on the marketing might and power of a Nike, an Adidas, or any of those companies, and said, ‘Nope, I’m going to do it myself,’” said Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising. “It’s definitely unprecedented.”

As word of Ball’s parenting style has spread — he has reportedly been training his brood for the NBA since the time they could walk — some have compared him to Marv Marinovich, who groomed his son Todd to be a professional quarterback with a fanatical regimen that began in utero.

Todd Marinovich, a heralded college player, managed a mere eight games in the National Football League in the early 1990s and has struggled with drug addiction much of his life. But while his highly programmed upbringing led to his being labeled “Robo QB,” he says his father, in stark contrast to Ball, had no involvement in his negotiations with teams or marketing officials.

“One thing about Marv, he knew his limitations,” Todd Marinovich said in an interview. “In terms of representation, he knew he was out of his element.”

He added, “He comes from an older generation.”

The Downside of Year-round Hockey

In my last blog, I spoke about the recent challenges with injuries in youth sport. A few months ago an interesting article was posted on the National Post, written by Wayne Scanlan. The article discusses the declining athleticism among youth from the Ottawa Senators strength and conditioning coach Chris Schwarz.  

Some great points in this article. Enjoy!

The Downside of Year-round Hockey: Ottawa Senators Strength Coach Warns of Declining Athleticism Among Youth

Chris Schwarz has a dream job.

As the strength and conditioning coach of the Ottawa Senators, Schwarz helps keep world-class athletes such as Erik Karlsson, Kyle Turris and Mark Stone finely tuned.

Schwarz isn’t referring to those star players, nor is he citing recent flu virus issues in the NHL when he says: “I can’t tell you how we’re in trouble. It’s an epidemic.”

Schwarz is talking about the lack of athleticism among our youth, even including some elite hockey players who didn’t play other sports or freelance in the playgrounds as children. He offers this simple test for parents: “Ask your kid if he or she can somersault. See if they can play catch with both hands. Can they run backwards? Do those three things. I think most parents would be astonished that their kids can’t do it.”

"How can play happen with no physical education and no balls in the schoolyards anymore?"

"How can play happen with no physical education and no balls in the schoolyards anymore?"

Those same parents approach Schwarz at his Fitquest private strength training centre and ask him to “make my son skate fast.” Unfortunately, it’s a losing proposition if the child hasn’t first learned to run and play; to kick and throw a ball.

Surprisingly, in this era of the professional who trains year round, some very good hockey players have come through the system, only to hit a wall at a certain point because their hockey aspirations lacked a foundation.

“We do assessments on players in the summertime,” says Schwarz, a former professional volleyball player in Europe. “I can tell if they have the ability to be a really good player by the way they see other games.

“I get kids here, and they missed this stage, because they’re not catching, running, throwing. They don’t process it. They can’t be creative. … you flick a puck over their heads, they can’t react, because they never caught a football that way.”

According to professional trainers such as Schwarz, an ideal developmental model for an athlete has him or her learning fundamental movement skills — crawling and rudimentary gymnastic exercises — up to the age of six. Sporting fundamentals, including running and jumping, are introduced from ages 9-12. From 10-14, children “train to train” and learn the basics of a specific sport. Training to compete is ideal for boys 14-18 and for girls 13-17. The performance focus is the final stage, in the late teens.

World renowned sport scientist Dr. Istvan Balyi developed this Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model (for late specialization sports) now used by most sport federations in Canada and it’s the foundation for British Columbia’s sport system.

Conditioning coach Chris Schwarz works with Ottawa Senator forward Kyle Turris at the CTC on March 14, 2017.

Conditioning coach Chris Schwarz works with Ottawa Senator forward Kyle Turris at the CTC on March 14, 2017.

If basic athletic movements aren’t experienced at a young age, the most well-intentioned athlete, even if she or he is physically mature, presents a potentially compelling shell but with no foundation.

“Movement skills, 60 to 70 per cent of that should be accomplished when they’re young,” Schwarz says. “Into mid-school, it’s less about that and more about power and strength. What we’re doing now, kids are coming to me at the NHL level, and they don’t have the movement skills. There’s no basis.”

In recent years, Schwarz says he has become equal parts strength coach and phys-ed teacher, introducing games and movements to players who missed out on that development. In some cases, it’s too late. Athletes need the cognitive ability to interpret and process information, as well as motor control. Thought, interpretation and movement work as a unit.

“If you lack one of those, you’re done,” Schwarz says.

“We’re trying to Frankenstein things,” says Schwarz. “We’re trying to take one aspect of sport and put it all together. But it has to happen in those early years, when play happens. And how can play happen with no physical education and no balls in the schoolyards anymore?”

Long before concerns about athlete burnout, before LTAD and “physical literacy,” there was play. Simple, unadulterated play. We ran in parks, played road hockey endlessly and invented games such as “burby” baseball, outlining a batter’s box on a brick wall. We wrestled at recess, sometimes attracting a crowd if it was a real good tilt.

Who knew we were inadvertently building our physical literacy (a term borrowed from the academic realm) and creating a foundation for athleticism and recreation for life?

Children don’t play much anymore. Parents are either too concerned about the safety and security of their kids running free, or they can’t tear them away from screens (phones, television and video games all vying for attention). Play at recess has all but been outlawed for fear of injury.

Recreation is something that gets scheduled, like a dentist appointment. And if a child is good at a game such as hockey or soccer, parents are often drawn into year-round programs that exclude other sports.

In recent years, specialization in sport, especially for preteens, has come under fire by educators and most sporting bodies.

These issues have led to a slow but steady crawl into something of a sport and health-care crisis.

You know some of this story: That children are chronically inactive, leading to soaring obesity rates (according to the Canadian Medical Association, 27 per cent of youth between the ages of two and 17 are overweight or obese). Playground play is just one endangered species in this tale. At school, phys-ed class is something to be skipped — not just because it’s the Friday afternoon of a long weekend, but skipped by most students altogether after Grade 9, the last year it is mandatory in the province of Ontario.

It infuriates Schwarz that children are kept from doing what comes naturally, being physically active.

“My son can’t bring a ball to school,” he says. “Some kid in Toronto got hit in head with a rubber ball and they’ve banned all balls in the schoolyard.”

Balls aren’t the only schoolyard targets. A few years ago, a school on Long Island banned cartwheels and games of tag. One can’t be too careful.

Schwarz, the father of a boy and girl, ages 9 and 12, keeps a trampoline in his backyard so his kids can develop co-ordination through jumping. On weekends, he rounds up neighbourhood kids and takes them to a playground with a bag of balls.

“Play is free,” Schwarz says. “Throwing a ball at the garage door is free (though not always popular with mom and dad). So is bouncing a ball off the roof, or playing catch.”

Numerous studies have shown that playing just one sport dramatically raises the risk of injury. Schwarz knows this first-hand.

Hockey players who didn’t learn to evade danger on the playground or football field lack sporting instincts when a player is skating at them.

“They don’t know enough to step to one side — kids run right into each other,” Schwarz says. “Then when they fall, they haven’t fallen before in wrestling or gymnastics … they bang their heads on the ice.”

The Increase in Youth Sport Injuries: Is it a Problem?

In recent years, there has been ongoing talk amongst coaches and administrators in youth sport about the apparent increase in injuries being sustained by young athletes between the ages of 14 and 18. Bone breaks, muscle strains, ligaments tears, concussions and non-sport related illnesses (ie. mono and flus), you name it, there seems to be more of it happening all the time.

So why is this happening? Is this a specialization problem, a multi-sport problem or something else? I would like to open some discussion on this topic with my blog audience and challenge you to think and respond.

Is it specialization? In my book, The Hovering Game, I speak about “The Theory of Extra Everything”, talking about the pros and cons of specializing in only one sport. Starting too early in age could be the problem. Is it really necessary to have a child in a sport academy at age 13 or younger? Now I’m not talking about gymnastics or other early adoption sports that persist with a younger maturing age competitors. I’m talking about traditional team sports where athletes mature physically much later in their teenage years on the road to adulthood. How young should they be to warrant practicing 4 times a week for almost the entire calendar year and in just one sport? Many elite sport programs do a good job balancing traditional practices and competititons with pre-hab/physical training, warm-up/cooldown routines, sport psychology and nutritional guidance, following the LTAD model (long term athlete development) developed by Sport Canada. But when you start before grade 9 or 13 years of age, you may be setting your child up for future health issues. And even with the best intentions for the older kids, the potential for over training between their high school, club, provincial team and private coaching is daunting. The intent by all of the aforementioned is to share with each coach the athlete’s training schedule to avoid overtraining, but it is often not practiced in the real world. So, is specialization the problem, what do you think?    

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Is it multi-sport participation? When we hear some of the great athletes speak about their past, like Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky, they talk about when they were kids, how they used to play a multitude of sports throughout the year. So were they on the right track? Maybe they were, but maybe the risk is in the misunderstanding of what they meant by multi-sport participation. In those days, yes most kids practiced the art of multi-sport, however, rarely did one sport cross over into the other. Football or soccer was in the fall, hockey in the winter and baseball was in the spring. Summer was usually a break from sports with family vacations. Nowadays, multi-sport means cross over sport participation, like running from a basketball game to a soccer practice or having to play in an icebreaker baseball tourney the same weekend as the provincial volleyball championships. In this all too common practice, the athlete has no chance to rest, hydrate or refuel (and if they do it is on the run). They often step right into the next activity with little or no warm-up. Could this be why we seem to have more injuries? Our volleyball club endorses and supports multi-sport participation to encourage (non-volleyball) muscle stimulation, enhancement of competitive senses and simply a break or change of pace for the body and mind. But the constant competition to lengthen the season by all sports may be creating an environment that increases the odds of injury. What do you think?

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Is it something else? Maybe it is the extreme from the hours of sedentary behaviours like internet, gaming, TV and smartphone activities to hard core sport training for athletes. There is no in between, no walking (kids are driven everywhere) and no ease of transition. It’s all or nothing. Maybe it is their dietary choices. Everyone “speaks” eating healthy, but are they? Take a look at what kids are eating at their competitions. Sure, they bring vegetables and fruits, but see how many processed foods and sugar based snacks are in their lunches as well. How many kids eat a regular healthy breakfast in the morning (if any breakfast at all)? Do they drink enough water? Try checking matching their sudden cranky behaviour with the last time they nourished their body with protein or liquids. Maybe it’s under the under reporting of injuries? When you ask your child if they are hurt from a recent fall in their sport, do they pretend they are okay when really they aren’t? How do you or the coaches assess the injury? Does the coaching staff follow concussion protocols or just assume they are okay because the athlete or parent said so? Regardless of the injury, coaches and parents need to have a heightened awareness of the child’s immediate post injury behaviours to ensure they aren’t hurt more then they lead us to believe. Better safe than sorry in most cases is the best approach. Maybe it’s helicopter parenting? Are the parents pushing their kids beyond what their bodies can endure? What if it is all just a media hype? Maybe we are such an overreacting, instant communication society (social media) that we think there is an increasing problem, when in fact it is the same as it was in the old days? What do you think?

My thoughts. In my opinion, I think it is a combination of all of the above. It is partially over specializing, partially a misunderstanding of how to benefit from multi-sport activities and the millennial culture of activity extremes, nutritional health practices, lack of injury diagnosis comprehension, injury exaggerations and helicoptering parenting. However, in all cases, each situation has a uniqueness to the athlete’s situation. It could be any of the above or more. I am sure there have been many studies written on these subjects that support or attack my thoughts, but I would welcome any feedback.

Final note. Let’s bring back fun into sport shall we? Participating in sport is supposed to be fun, and it is! Thanks for listening.

Cheers,

Shane

 

 

 

Hockey: It Ain't as Easy as it Looks

In 1996, the inaugural year of the Western Professional Hockey League, I took on a job with the Amarillo Rattlers Hockey Team. They were in early start up mode, and I was hired as a consultant to set up their merchandise operations for the club. While there, we met some interesting people, including city officials and key members of the business community. Amarillo, located in the Texas panhandle, was, at the time a population of 120,000. Hockey was a foreign sport to the locals, all of the sporting goods stores were filled to brim with football gear. In fact, the nightly sports cast was inundated with junior and senior high football game results. Very little room for a hockey team story.

The city had one indoor rink, the Amarillo Civic Centre, a facility large enough to warrant a small, professional league team. Less foreign to the community was roller hockey, and the city supported a well-used roller hockey rink. It was a covered barn of sorts, where many tried out this latest of the popular trendy sports. The community leaders, who fancied themselves as (former) athletes, wanted to try out this new sport called ice hockey. Now they had been on ice skates before, so in their minds playing hockey would come easy. The club owners graciously offered to provide them with gear, sticks and pucks to try it out. They agreed, so we took them out to the rink.

Hockey, as many Canadians know, is not as easy as it looks. It takes lots of practice and hard work to master the skills of skates, puck and stick. But sometimes, people think things are easy until they actually try it. Sure, these guys could skate, but when they tried to shoot a puck (while moving) or take a slap-shot (while stationary) it was quite the scene. Many-a-fall for the newbies. Within 30 minutes or so, they had had enough, and humbly acknowledged that the sport was much tougher than they had imagined.

This story reminds me of some wannabe helicopter parents. The ones who coach from the sidelines. When you have been watching a sport for many years that you have never played, somehow people think that they are experts. Well, the truth is they are not. If you have never been on the pitcher’s mound with all the pressures that surround it, then you really don’t know what it is like. Further, you are NOT qualified to give advice, let alone coach your child.

If you really think you know a bit about the sport your child is participating in, maybe you should try it first before giving them advice on how to play. You will find it’s best to leave the coaching up to the coaches. That’s why they are in those roles, and why you are the parent.

Cheers,

Shane

 

Tweeter: A Street Hockey Game (not Twitter)

Tweeter: A Street Hockey Game (not Twitter)

I often think about the old days when I was a kid. The good times we had and how we always found ways of having fun without the electronic distractions of today. One of my fondest memories as a kid was playing Tweeter in the winter. Unless you grew up in Winnipeg back in the early 70’s you likely won’t know what I mean by Tweeter. Tweeter was a street hockey game invented by kids on the street.

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When Youth Sports Transcends to Adulthood

As a parent, you may ask yourself, “what’s the big deal? So my kid has stopped playing sports. He will find other things to do with his life.” You may be right, but I would ask you to consider a few things:

Why did they start playing organized sports? Was it because you encouraged them? Was it their idea? Did they get into it because their friends were playing sports too? Regardless of the reason, I would venture to guess that they had fun. Mostly because they were playing with kids their age, their friends and some who became their friends. 

I often think about the days when I played volleyball, not as a kid, but rather as a young adult. Whether it was on the beach, indoor for league or mixed grass tournaments, they were good times.  I have fond memories of the friends I made (and still have) and the competitions, which seemed to make it all worthwhile. But to appreciate why the adult world of sports was so dear to me, you have to understand where it all began: when I spawned a love to play sports. Any sport! 

It all started with me playing sports as a kid. A pick-up game of baseball, street hockey or basketball to name a few. Organized sports taught us me the basics and finer points of the game, but the impromptu touch football game or the 500-and-your-up baseball game (anyone remember that one?) is what made it all fun. When I was in my teens, we used to frequent the junior high school during the summer where they ran a drop-in centre. We would play basketball during the day, volleyball at night. It was all unplanned, unorganized, mixed with guys and girls, and highly competitive. I so looked forward to those summer days back then.

I never wanted to stop playing sports after high school, and I did not. But why do so many of today's kids stop playing sports after high school? Don't they know what they're missing? I'm not saying all stop, but many do. Is it because they were pressed so hard by their overbearing parents to succeed at all costs in their athletic endeavours that they finally said, no more?

When your adult child no longer plays sports, they are being denied so many great experiences. Social interaction, physical conditioning, lots of fun and more!

However, those that do still play get it. In June of this year, I was at the Steveston Salmon Festival in Richmond, BC, and there was a large grass tournament taking place. There had to be 30 or more courts with teams playing reverse mixed 4's on a grass field. The event was well attended with lots of young people, playing hard and having fun. Many a married couple have come out of these types of athletic events. I met my spouse at one of those events, and it was the best thing that could ever have happened to me.

So whatever your kids interests are, whether its sports, music, camping or the arts, if you push them so hard that it is no longer fun, they will stop playing in their tracks. Maybe not when they are still under your roof, but when they leave they may never ever play again. Not the kind of parental risks anyone should be toying with, don't you think?

Cheers,

 

Shane

Teach your Children

Teach your Children

Some helicopter parents just never learn. They’ve been able to stick handle their way through the school system and the sports world for their children, and are now ready to move on to bigger and better things, the career. There are some unbelievable stories out there about parents who will stop at nothing to micro-manage their adult child’s world. 

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Listen to What the Kids Say

Listen to What the Kids Say

It is remarkable what you can get out of children when they are away from their parents. They will tell you things that will make you smile, and make you cry. In the focus group sessions with kids, it wavered not. I wish I would have taken video. However, I found this wonderful blog with some great content and this video,

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Who is That Sideline Parent Coach?

Who is That Sideline Parent Coach?

Then there are those parents… You know the ones. The ones who yell out instructions to their kids from the bleachers. The ones who just can’t help themselves. How many different people need to tell them to “watch the tight end, he’s going deep” or “shoot the puck”? That’s what coaches are for, remember? But the issue persists. The self-proclaimed sideline parent coach.

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The Heli-Parent and the Punch

The Heli-Parent and the Punch

It’s never a good story when people take things too far. Over-parenting is the classic gone-too-far trait. Sometimes the consequences can be devastating to the relationship between parent and child. I had a recent conversation with a friend of mine who shared a not so great experience.

John, a former baseball pitcher back in the day, who spent some time in the minors (a short time) is now actively involved with coaching. He is a good coach, but a bit intense. 

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Of Bobby Orr

Of Bobby Orr

We love to say things to our kids like “when I was your age, we never had more than 3 channels on our television, and they were all in black and white.” Our parents did it to us and we do it to our kids. Truth be known, there is always something to learn from our forefathers. Often, kids don’t want to listen to us because they think they know better. Every once and awhile though, a person of notoriety, a hero from the past will say something that leaves a mark. I grew up in the days of the six original national hockey league teams, and one of my favourite players to watch was Bobby Orr.

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The Hovering Game releases soon!

The Hovering Game releases soon!

Only one week away from the official launch of my first book “The Hovering Game” and I am bursting with anticipation and excitement. The support from the local sports community, family and friends has been amazing. I never realized how big the helicopter parenting behaviour problem was, but it touches everyone.

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Pyramid Battle

Pyramid Battle

When I speak to people about the ever-growing problem of helicopter parenting in our society, I like to relate back to the route problem, where the real war is. You see, helicopter parenting is one of the symptomatic battles that are being fought in the war against human sedentary behaviour. We drive more, walk less; we view TV, phones and computers more; we exercise less and consume more. All first world nations (and the others are starting to follow suit) are dealing with a decline in their population’s physical health due to these new millennial habits.

It is a war on many fronts. I would like to address the Pyramid Battle that is being fought at three levels: government (top), sport organizations (middle) and parents (bottom).

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Why am I blogging?

Why am I blogging?

It indirectly stems from the research I did for writing The Hovering Game. Never a day went by when I didn’t get some level of response regarding the need for a book to address helicopter parenting issues. It fuelled my passion to fix things. I am a solution based person, I hate when people complain about things but never offer ways to solve the problem.

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