In the youth hockey world, kids are often taught, from a young age, to “play through the pain.” In other words, they are taught that, even when they don’t feel their best or they get hurt, they need to keep going, all for the sake of the team and the game.
And, for a long time, people have thought this was a good thing. After all, it teaches kids to put others first, to keep going, and to persevere, no matter what.
All of that may be true, but this kind of thinking could also cause kids to injure themselves gravely and perhaps even permanently, which is why some changes need to be made to this way of thinking.
Teach Kids to Tell Someone
While it’s okay to teach your children to work hard even when they face obstacles, you also need to teach them that, if they’ve been hurt or even think they may have been hurt, they need to let someone know…even in the midst of a serious game.
Children should feel comfortable telling parents, coaches, and other authority figures when they think they may have been injured. And, as a parent, you need to ensure that these figures will always take your child’s claims seriously and look into them.
Instead of teaching playing through the pain, preach about getting the pain checked out and then making an informed decision about whether or not it’s smart to continue going. Make your child understand that every injury needs to be evaluated before an informed decison about continued play can be made.
Stop the Stigma
One big problem among today’s young hockey players is that pain is often seen as a sign of weakness.
Make sure you explain to your child that absolutely anyone can get hurt and that it’s okay to be hurt and to admit it. Honest and real communication like this is the only way to stop the stigma around sports injuries and to protect your child for life.