Every parent wants their youth hockey star to have a stellar season EVERY season, but unfortunately, having a great season is easier said (or dreamed about) than done. As a hockey parent, it is important to remember that your child’s season starts before the actual season even starts; having a great season means having a great attitude even before the first practice and doing all the right things to set your young one up for an awesome season. If you want to ensure you have a great season, here are some things to avoid.
Not Setting Solid Goals
Before the first practice, it is incredibly important that you sit down with your child and, together, come up with a list of goals for the season.Think about performance related goals, as well as off-ice goals, like gaining in confidence or making new friends. Goals about playing and winning are fine, as long as there are other goals in place too, and as long as you don’t put any excess pressure on your child in the process. Make goals improvement-based, such as staying in the game for longer, rather than definitive, like winning a set number of games per season.
In addition to setting goals pre-season, take time with your child after each game and practice to re-assess goals, monitor progress, and come up with new goals as old goals are met. When your child constantly has something to work toward, that is going to give the season and, by extension, your child, a purpose and a drive like never before. Just remember to keep it light and fun and to honor even the smallest of achievements.
Not Caring About Nutrition
No matter how many goals you set or how hard your child works, all of that is going to be for naught if you are not taking care of your little one off the ice. Before, during, and after the hockey season, make sure that your child is eating a balanced, healthy nutritious diet.
Eating bad in the off-season is tempting, but it can lead to a sluggish start to the season when the time comes, and eating bad during the season is a recipe for disaster. Feed your child healthy foods all the time that are going to give him energy, stamina, and health on and off the ice. And, in addition to eating right, don’t forget to keep your child active all year long, so that he’ll be ready and used to moving fast once hockey season rolls around.
Not Taking Breaks
While all of this goal-setting and healthy-eating is certainly important, it’s also important to remember to let your kid be a kid, at least some of the time. It’s not going to kill your child to take a day off from practice or to have a few slices of pizza one night. Obviously, you shouldn’t let these things become a habit, but taking a break here and there is just as important as following the rest of these tips.
If you run your child like a hockey-parent drill sergeant all the time, you’re going to end up with a kid who is burnt out before the season even starts, so try to maintain balance in all that you do.
So, there you have it- what not to do if you want to have a great season. Take these tips to heart, and there is no way your little one can’t have his or her best season yet!