Make the Difference
In the Stands
Parents can take the fun out of hockey by
continually yelling or screaming from the stands. Parents should
enjoy the game and applaud good plays. The stands are not a place
from which parents should try to personally coach their kids. Kids
often mirror the actions of their parents; if they see mom or dad
losing their cool in the stands, they'll probably do the same on the
Car and Home
Some parents not only spoil the fun for their
kids at the ice rink, but also in the car, believing this the
perfect place for instruction. Parents should try to keep things in
perspective. There's more to life than hockey, and the car and home
are not places to coach. Parents are responsible for supporting and
respecting the coach's decisions and abilities. It is unfair to put
children in a position of having to decide who to listen to -- their
parents or the coach.
Parents should remember that if a child wants to
improve, they have to practice -- not just play. Even if a child is
not the "star" player for a team, practice stresses the importance
of teamwork, establishing goals, discipline and learning to control
your emotions, all of which are important lessons children can use
both in and away from sports.
At the Rink
Hockey parents can help create a fun environment
by making certain their children are wearing properly fitted
equipment. Parents also need to stress fair play and risk management
to help eliminate injuries.
Support Your Child
There are many benefits that are derived from
playing minor hockey. Boys and girls learn good sportsmanship and
self-discipline. They learn to work together, how to sacrifice for
the good of the team, how to enjoy winning and how to handle defeat.
In the process, they also learn important lessons about physical
fitness and personal health.
The degree to which your child benefits from his
or her minor hockey experience is as much your responsibility as it
is theirs. In order for your child to get the most out of a minor
hockey program, is important for you to show support and offer
encouragement while maintaining a genuine interest in the
Always Be Positive
Parents serve as role models for their children,
who often look to adults for advice, direction and approval. Never
lose sight of the fact that you are a role model, and strive to be a
positive role model. As a parent, one of the most important things
you can do is show good sportsmanship at times to coaches, referees,
opponents and teammates.
Remember that your children are PLAYING hockey.
It is important to allow them to establish their own goals and play
the game for themselves. Be careful not to impose your own standards
Let The Coach Coach
Avoid placing an exaggerated emphasis on
winning. The most important aspect of your child's minor hockey
experience is for them to have fun while developing physical and
emotional skills that will serve them in life. A healthy, risk-free
environment that emphasizes the importance of fair play,
sportsmanship, discipline and, most importantly, fun will be
invaluable for your child as he or she continues to develop a
positive self image.
The best way to help children achieve goals and
reduce their natural fear of failure is through positive
reinforcement. After all, no one likes to make mistakes.
If your child does make a mistake -- and they
will ( remember, they're just kids) -- keep in mind that mistakes
are an important part of the overall learning process. Strive to be
supportive and point out the things they do well. Make your child
feel like a