As a hockey parent, you’ve probably been through periods of time where you felt your child wasn’t getting enough ice time. If that’s happening to you right now, you may be wondering what to do about it. That really all depends on a lot of things, but hopefully, the following advice will help steer you in the right direction.
Read the Team Policy
First things first, read the team policy that the coach or the hockey organization handed out at the beginning of the season.
The policy usually details how playing time is determined, and it really varies from team to team. Some teams, in order to be fair, try and give equal playing time to everyone, regardless of skill level. Others are all about skill level.
As you read the policy, see if the terms of it are being violated in regards to the amount of playing time your child is being given. If they are, you should confront the coach about this issue. In fact, even if they’re not, it’s not a bad idea to have a conversation with the team’s coach.
Talk to the Coach
When you talk to your child’s coach, be respectful and direct. It’s okay to politely ask why your child is getting less playing time than you might like.
As you listen to the coach’s answer, remind yourself to remain fair and diplomatic. This can be hard to do when emotions are running high, so you can always return to the conversation later if needed.
If, after your conversation, you understand the coach’s choices, then you just have to accept it and move on. If you honestly think the coach is still being unfair or unreasonable, you may want to bring the issue to higher-ups or consider joining a different team.
However, remember that your wants and your child’s wants are not the same thing. If your child isn’t upset about his amount of playing time, you probably shouldn’t be either. Keep that in mind before you think about broaching the topic.