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A letter to hockey parents

Click here to view the 2024 Winter Breakout Magazine in your browser.

From an experienced hockey mom

It’s that time of year: the regular season is wrapping up and all eyes are set on the playoffs! 

Anyone who has ever played hockey or has a child who plays, knows the hockey community is a big family that you are a part of forever. It’s players on the ice, skating their hearts out; parents with their warm drinks, cheering from behind the glass. It all sounds so fantastic, living in the moment through an exciting 45 minutes – what could go wrong?  

A few minutes into the game, your child makes a bad play, or your goalie lets in a soft goal. From behind the glass and in the stands, you’re frustrated, angry, and embarrassed. You’re thinking: my kid knows better than that, they must know better than that…  

You want to communicate that, to push them to be better… If you think after your child makes a mistake on the ice, that your response should be to yell, bang the glass, or give them a dirty look, you’re wrong – no exception. 

The behaviour and example set by parents is one of the – if not the biggest – major influences on your child’s growth and development. Yelling and banging the glass will only land you a failure in how to be a good and supportive hockey parent.  

It may be hard to believe, and likely easy to forget, but your child feels the same frustration that makes you want to yell. Your hockey player knows everyone is looking at them, they know their mistake caused a goal or that they made a bad pass. They know more than anyone that they have let their team down.  

Your player has so much pressure on them out there, playing the fastest game in the world, and what they need in those moments are hockey parents who support them. Hockey parents that focus on the positives. Hockey parents who treat all the players and the game with respect.  

Don’t get caught up in the mistakes – your hockey player does enough of that for everyone. Instead, get caught up in cheering your player on! Don’t roll your eyes in the stands, yell, or embarrass your child. Remind yourself of the fact that these are kids, and the game – everything about it – is supposed to be played for fun. Your hockey player is not getting paid to play; this game is not their job. Your hockey player is playing because they love the sport.  

Don’t take their love away because you, as parents, have become more competitive than the players themselves. Enjoy every game, enjoy every period, and enjoy every shift. Make friends, cheer for all the children and kids on the ice. Watch your child grow, develop, and learn – and eat tons of arena fries!  

From an experienced hockey mom, time flies by and before you know it, watching your hockey player ends. Don’t waste these special years on bringing your child down. Spend these years choosing to lift your child up – always.

Click here to view the 2024 Winter Breakout Magazine in your browser.


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