So I'm the head coach for one son's initiation team, and an assistant coach on another son's novice team. And I have questions... Novice: It's only week two and we haven't had any games yet, but my novice kid is just not really engaged. When I say it's time to go to hockey he starts moving really slowly, says he's 'tired' (despite him being active as can be 5 minutes earlier). In practices, he isn't out-and-out refusing to do them, but he's very obviously going at maybe 50% speed. How do I get him to be a little more engaged and having fun? His most recent practice was a tiny bit better, and he was right in there when we start playing games like freeze tag or asteroids, it's just the practice drills. It's to the point where we will definitely re-assess whether he continues to play hockey next season, but the season just started (and other activities have already filled up too), so we're kind of stuck with hockey for this year. My response might have been "well just do more fun games", but I'm not the head coach and it isn't my call. Initiation: We had our first cross-ice games last weekend. The teams by design are NOT tiered - they're all supposed to be balanced. My kid is definitely a weak skater. That's okay - I can try to work on that with him. And he at least appears to be having fun out there. My question isn't about him. I have two other kids on the team. One kids father coaches minor hockey at a reasonably high level, and another kids father is associated with the NHL. Both kids are quite skilled and talented - I was blown away when I saw one kid blast a shot top shelf. Most kids this age can't raise the puck at all, even using the lighter blue-coloured pucks. But both kids also really dominate the play when they're on the ice. Being cross-ice there's so many bodies they can't just skate around everyone, but they have the puck much more often than the other players. So... I don't want to hold back the talented kids. I want them to develop their skills as much as they can. But I want to make sure the other 7 kids on the team get a meaningful hockey experience as well. The only thing I can think of is to ask them to pass. But at this age no one is passing, there are no positions, no overall strategy or tactics. We're just trying to work on basic hockey skills like skating and puck-handling. Or do I just try to keep both of them out on the ice together as much as possible, so they A: have someone who can match their speed and ability, and B: maximize for the other kids the times when the talented kids aren't on the ice? Any ideas in either situation?