Letter: Give hockey coaches a chance
I've had the unique opportunity to observe an extraordinary coach and person for the last two years by being the Willmar hockey physician on the bench. As a parent, physician, and person, I cannot begin to express how fortunate our student athlet...
I've had the unique opportunity to observe an extraordinary coach and person for the last two years by being the Willmar hockey physician on the bench. As a parent, physician, and person, I cannot begin to express how fortunate our student athletes are in having Dan Tollefson as their coach and mentor.
Tollefson and his staff -- Reed Larson, Jason Bruhn, Mike Markkanen and Ross Dahl -- have done a great job teaching these young men how to play hockey and how to succeed at life. The instruction our kids received was priceless.
I am convinced that if given enough time, Tollefson can mold Willmar into a hockey power, much like BOLD in football, Paynesville in wrestling, and Roseau in hockey.
This community must give him and his staff the chance. These coaches have faced parents undermining them at home, on the phone, or in the community.
All parents feel strongly about their own student athlete, and I am no different. However, I know Tollefson and his staff have our kids' best interest in mind, not just in the short term but over the long term as well.
We may, as parents, not agree, but I can tell you sincerely that we can trust him to do the right thing. As parents, we have a responsibility to follow the age-old adage, "Mouth shut, minds open," not to be negative, and to enjoy our kid's experience.
As student athletes, our kids have the responsibility to practice outside of practice, to shoot pucks, lift weights, and if they don't like their playing time -- work harder. I am convinced Tollefson knows more about hockey than any parent or their kids.
For those who feel I am writing this letter for one of my own kids, I will be leaving this community next month. My two greatest regrets in moving are leaving my patients, who have truly been wonderful, and secondly, not being able to watch Willmar hockey develop into the success I know it will be under Tollefson.
I implore Willmar hockey parents to give Tollefson and his staff a chance by being supportive and not destructive. Encourage your student athletes to participate and practice. I look forward to watching you at state tournaments in the future.