Cody Giroux and his teammates joked and laughed as they laced up their skates in the dressing room when one of the boysâ€™ fathers stormed in.
He was upset over the fact that his son had been hit during a team practice.
The father, Steven Olsen, stomped directly over to Eric Giroux, the coach, and declared:â€�I have a problem here. It seems thereâ€™s a kid here who likes to use his stick. My kidâ€™s shins are all bruised up.â€™â€�
â€œHe started getting loud and warning people not to touch his kid,â€� Cody adds.
The coach was trying to get him out of the room to discuss it but Olsen kept saying â€˜No, no, no, Iâ€™m not done.â€™ The kids sat in shock.â€�
Cody began to smile uneasily. Olsen turned to him and said, â€œYou think thatâ€™s funny, your turn will come,â€� with much anger in his voice.
That was two years ago.
Lingering tensions and fear from that day were rekindled this past fall when Olsen was named coach of the team where Cody was to play. Cody and his family were concerned about the manâ€™s aggressive behaviour but hockeyâ€™s governing body would not allow Cody to play elsewhere.
The Giroux family faced only one alternative. Move somewhere else so Cody could continue to play the game he loves – a travesty for a family deep rooted in their community for the past 15 years. They put their house up for sale and moved to another community.
The Giroux story is not an isolated incident. Aggressive behaviour on the part of coaches has plagued sports for over 30 years. Incidents that afflicted the Giroux family have become more the norm over the past decade. Kids are either forced to quit or move.
In fact it is one of the contributing factors why three quarters of youngsters between the ages of 7 â€“ 12 leave organized sport.
In communities across the nation, hockey has a brotherhood and bad behaviour on the part of coaches is often covered up by this old boysâ€™ club â€“ the local hockey association.
Coaches bullying can fester in a hockey community. It creates enemies and alienates friends. Teams crumble!
Join us when Elaine Cook, an expert on bullying in sport, will provide answers to many questions on dealing with this escalating problem. We will also be joined by a family who know only too well the effects of bullying on the part of the coaches. Be a part of the conversation LIVE for the Wednesday April 10th @ 7PM EST at BEYONDtheCheers on blogtalkradio. Dial-in TOLL FREE 1-877-357-2448 in Canada and United States to ask a question, or email in advance.