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Coach's rant sparks debate on language used in locker rooms
Published Friday, December 1, 2017 2:49PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, December 2, 2017 4:06PM CST
A hockey coach in Yorkton is being put on probation after how he spoke to one of his now former players.
The midget Yorkton RawTec AAA Maulers head coach, Kevin Rawlick has been put on probation, and must complete a ‘Respect in Sport’ program. It follows a rant directed at 16-year-old Josh Bear.
“From all the swearing and verbal abuse that I’ve taken from this guy, starting to make me scared of the guy a little bit,” said Josh Bear, during a press conference in Saskatoon on Wednesday.
The hockey organizations involved in the situation have shown support for Rawlick.
“Although we do not condone the use of profanity, we support the message that was delivered by our coach,” said Yorkton Minor Hockey, in a statement.
“He's been warned. (He) certainly learned his lesson from this. If anyone listened to the audio, he had a passion for the kid, he wanted the kid to get better, and was frustrated by some of the actions of the young man,” said Saskatchewan Hockey Association GM Kelly McClintock, during an interview on Thursday.
Twenty years ago, it might have been considered normal locker room talk. According to professionals the mindset of young athletes has changed since then, meaning coaches need to find a way to work with them on an individual basis, instead of a cookie cutter approach.
"What caused that stuff to happen was based on emotion. When we're emotional, we're usually irrational about things… Twenty different faces have twenty different brains. They're all dealing with things differently, and they all perceive things differently. The perception of that coach yelling and screaming to one kid doesn't bother them. To another kid, it really gets to them, because of that emotional state. They need to be energized and engaged, and usually how you to do that is talk to them on an individual level,” said Kyle McDonald, Mental Skills Consultant, Competitive Will Performance Consulting, during an interview on Friday.
Athletes also need to adjust their thinking. They're used to being in control of everything. But McDonald feels they need to focus on themselves and how they react to adversity. Not the decisions of coaches or officials.
“I always say to my athletes, if ice time is a big thing, if you get five minutes of ice time, compared to the other guy who gets twenty, what becomes more important to you? It’s probably your practice habits, it’s probably what you do in those five minutes. If you are spending most of your time frustrated in those five minutes, then you are not making the most of your time in those minutes,” said McDonald.
It’s unknown what the future holds for Josh Bear, but this incident has sparked debate in the Saskatchewan hockey community.
“I think there are some lessons learned for coaches at AAA or either Junior A in how you deal with young men with issues because they are kids and they have issues,” said McClintock.
It's a conversation that can only help the relationship between coaches and their athletes.
With files from Lee Jones.