Many young hockey players greatly love the sport. What they often don’t love, however, is the way their parents act towards them. So many hockey parents get overly focused on winning and “being the best.” Sometimes, they focus on this so much that they drain all the love, joy, and fun out of the sport for their kids.
You might not think you’re that type of parent. But, whether or not you are, consider the things hockey kids wish they could tell their parents, and see if you find something to work on as you read.
Don’t Try to be my Coach
Resoundingly, so many young hockey players say that they wish they could tell their parents to stop acting like coaches.
When athletes are on the ice, their minds are going a million miles a minute. They have to think about when to pass, when to backcheck, where their teammates are in relation to them and the puck, and what their coach is shouting at them. The last thing they need is to hear their parents shouting instructions, often conflicting ones, at them too.
Once off the ice, kids don’t want or need a lecture on what they did wrong. Instead, they just want a hug and a “good game,” no matter what. Parents need to leave the coaching to the coaches and just be supportive, loving parents.
Don’t Embarrass Me
It’s often hard for kids to admit when their parents embarrass them. Some types of embarrassment, like a hug before a game, are no big deal.
Other types, though, can be very damaging. Kids don’t want you to yell at the referees, especially when you tell them to respect adults. That’s both embarrassing and confusing. They don’t want you to get angry at their coaches or to stalk out of the rink after a loss.
Just be there, be supportive, and don’t do anything that embarrasses your child unjustly. Chances are, when you do that, you’re embarrassing yourself too.
Your child may never speak up and tell you what he’s thinking. However, if you try to always put yourself in your young athlete’s shoes- or skates-, you can probably figure it out. Treat your player just like you would want your parents to treat you, listen to and respect what they do tell you, and remember your role in all of this. If you can do those things, your child probably won’t have anything he’s dying to tell you- except maybe “thank you.”