Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Keeping Perspective in Youth Hockey

As a “hockey parent,” you are undoubtedly pretty proud of your little athlete. There’s a good chance, in fact, that you jump up and cheer when your child does something well out on the ice or when his team wins the game.

Being excited about and involved in your child’s athleticism is a good thing, but, on the flip-side, if you happen to be “really into it,” there’s also a pretty good chance that you tend to yell, make negative remarks, or get upset when your child does something not-so-great on the ice or when his team loses.

If you are doing those kinds of things, then you should know that you’re undoubtedly hurting your little one’s self-esteem, potentially causing your child to equate his own worth with how he performs on the ice, which is dangerous.

If you are placing too much stock on a game- and, at the end of the day, hockey really is just a game- then that means that you have lost your perspective, and that you’re taking the game a little (or maybe even a lot) too seriously.

In fact, there are typically some major warning signs that you’ve lost sight of what really matters and that you’re putting too much emphasis on the sport. Some of these signs include:

l  Talking constantly about hockey at home. Replaying games, discussing who did what wrong, and giving constant feedback to your child during what should be “downtime” is a major sign that you are taking things too far.
l  Your child has limited social interaction and “kid time” due to practices, games, and other hockey-related tasks.
l  Homework and other academic needs come second to hockey.
l  Your child seeks approval from you at games and practices and often appears fearful or anxious.
l  You find yourself arguing with your child about hockey.

These warning signs have a way of creeping up on you, so be watchful of your behavior. If you notice these signs in yourself or in your relationship with your child, then it is definitely time to take a step back and re-evaluate where you stand. Remember, at the end of the day, hockey should be a fun, positive experience for your child, not a source of stress and anxiety, and you play a big role in how your child views and feels about the sport, so keep yourself in check.

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