If you have a child who plays youth hockey, you probably already know (or will soon know) that having a child involved in sports can be challenging and stressful at times. However, it can also be incredibly rewarding; there’s nothing like seeing your little one have fun, succeed, and grow in major ways. And whether it’s your first season or what feels liked your hundredth, there are a few pieces of advice that you’ll do well to follow.
Maintain Positivity...No Matter What
First things first, make a promise to yourself, right now, that no matter what happens this season,
After every game, celebrate your little athlete and his hard work, no matter what the game’s outcome. Instead of criticizing or critiquing- that’s the coach’ s job- always congratulate your child on a game well played. This will only make him feel better and encourage him to keep right on trying and improving.
Be Kind to the Coach
In addition to being kind to your child, you also want to show kindness to the coach, who is there on behalf of your child. Even if you don’t agree with everything the coach does, as long as it’s not harming your child, try to keep that positive attitude going. Trust that the coach knows what he’s doing and only question his methods if he’s doing something that you feel will negatively impact your child and the other players.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to offer to help every time you want to criticize. Volunteering and helping here and there will enable you to see that the coach’s job is far from easy and will probably make it a lot easier to see the good the coach does, instead of focusing on the negative.
Support the Team
Finally, try your best to be supportive of the team as a whole, not just your own little star. Even when your kid is sitting on the bench, pay attention to the game and cheer...loudly! Bring snacks, offer to help, and don’t criticize the other young players or their parents, even in private; after all, kids have a real knack for overhearing, and they’ll easily adopt your attitude.
If you can do these simple but effective things, you and your little hockey star should have a great season...and hopefully many more to come!