Having a 10U hockey player is exciting…but it can also be stressful in a lot of ways as well. These young players are at a very pivotal stage in their development, and poor choices on your part or on the part of a coach can be very damaging.
Likewise, though, smart choices and proper handling of your 10U player can help him to develop into a wonderful, skilled young player who will grow into an even better older player in the future! To help make that happen, keep these helpful “dos and don’ts” in mind.
DO Put the Emphasis on Building Skills
First things first, make sure that, as you teach your child and encourage him, you put the focus on building important skills, NOT on winning every game, becoming a hockey superstar, or getting a scholarship in the future. These kinds of things put negative pressure on kids and can easily lead to burnout and increased stress.
Thus, instead of pushing your child for the wrong reasons, push him or her to build and develop important skills, to work hard, and to do his best. If you can do this, then both you and your child should be happy with the outcome.
DON’T Harp on Every Mistake
Something you’ll want to avoid, as a hockey parent or, really, just as a parent in general is harping on your child’s mistakes. When a child makes a mistake during a game or just plain doesn’t play his best, wait before you say anything. The child may come to you to talk about what went wrong, and this is your chance to be loving and supportive.
If your child doesn’t bring up the mistake, you can broach the topic but do so with a loving, constructive attitude. Instead of getting mad at your child or berating him for his mistakes, talk over things that “go wrong” and, together, work to find out how your child can overcome mistakes and what he can learn from these blunders along the way.
DO Be Supportive and Encouraging….No Matter What
Finally, as a hockey parent, keep in mind that your job, above all else, is to be in your child’s corner. No matter what happens or what kind of performance your child gives on the ice, be the parent who is loving, supportive, and caring. Be the one who says “good job” at every opportunity and who believes in your child wholeheartedly. If you can do this and keep the rest of these “dos and don’ts” in mind, you’ll be well on your way to helping to create an awesome athlete and person.