A funny thing happens when your hockey kid hits 15. It’s decision time. For him, for you, for the coaches. And, there’s good and bad out there awaiting your kid if they’re really, really good. Not good as in “Grandma says I have a beautiful voice good” but good like, “I’ve got genuine interest and my coach is pushing me to participate in showcases for scouts.”
One thing I’ve learned in my years of watching my kids play hockey and being on the supervisory side of USA Hockey – if a kids’ good enough, the coaches and the scouts already know who he is. But then the real parental conundrum begins. I know my son is good and he just turned 15. Now what? Continue Reading »
If Only. If Only I was as smart as a hockey parent then as I am now. Oh, the things I WOULDN’T have done.
I’ve joked with friends for year about teaching a course on hockey parent behavior – wholly based on the mistakes I’ve made throughout the years. Sometimes older and experienced is wiser and sane. Yeah, I still lose it at times and yeah, my kid still rolls his eyes when I try and coach him in the car. But after three boys and 16 years as a hockey Dad, doggone if I haven’t learned a few things NOT to do. To save you all from having to sign up for a webinar – here’s some things that experience has taught me. And as obvious as some of these appear, it’s stupefying to see it day after day during the season. As figure skating great Chazz Michael Michael would say – “You’re Welcome Stockholm!”
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If this was the season that hockey parents were going to set out on a new proper direction, circumventing all the unnecessary and misplaced criticism towards us – I must have missed it. If I could grade the behavior I saw and read about this year, I’d say Hockey Parents “earned” an F during the 2012-13 season.
Even with a limited sample that I was exposed to (I’m sure there were many more incidents), this was a year of horrors across the country for bad behaving hockey parents. The following are incidents I personally witnessed or read about this year and it’s a pretty pathetic hall of shame. Continue Reading »
When my youngest was 6 years old, his earnest mini-mite coach huddled the kids together before a “crucial” third period where he had hoped his young future stars would rebound from a one goal deficit. Diligently he pulled out a dry erase board and diagrammed where he wanted his crew to stand on an upcoming power play. Writing frantically to get his point across in a very short period of time, a dazed crew of hockey kids tried as hard as they could to follow the enthusiastic coach. Finally, moments before the third period faceoff, the coach asked if there were any last second questions? Quickly my son’s hand shot up in the air, presumably ready to finalize his understanding of the strategy with a last second question of clarity. The coach quickly pointed to my son and asked him to speak. “Coach, how many days until Santa?” Continue Reading »
Over the past few weeks I’ve seen or heard of; goalie Dads berating referees, Moms squaring off (on two occasions) in the lobby, coaches threatening teenage players on the other team, and now this jerk from Winnipeg whose behavior has gone viral. Our buddy in the video to the left (warning, it contains profanity) has become the new poster “child” for bad hockey parents everywhere and at least in Winnipeg has unleashed talk again about mandatory behavior classes for parents.
The prize parent in the story, by the way, not only berated a kid and his Dad while HOLDING another young child, but its also been reported he audibly showed enthusiasm when the guy with the video camera’s kid was hurt later in the game. Nice. Will classes make a difference? It can’t hurt. Should this guy be banned from his kid’s games? Yep. But who’s going to do it? Who’s jurisdiction is this stuff? He hasn’t done anything illegal, just obscenely idiotic. Maybe it’s time we police our own. The coach and parents of this team should have a long talk with this guy and get him out of the rink. By the way, good luck to his kid being picked up by another team next year. Thanks, Dad.
I don’t want the headline of this article to discourage Dads from ever coaching their kids. But what I want to talk about here, is that for coaching Dads, you’ve got to have a pretty thick skin. Why (dumb question, I know)? Because you’re going to hear it from everyone, pretty much all season. Let’s face it, especially at the younger levels, if Dads didn’t coach, there wouldn’t be teams. But for a Dad on the bench, the feedback throughout the season can be brutal. From the parents AND your own kid. Continue Reading »
Nothing I love more than giving people props through my various communications mediums for a “job well done.” This shout out goes to author Kris Yankee, a southeast Michigan writer and very active hockey Mom who has written a new book for kids called “Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors” from Nelson Publishing. It’s her second book and she draws from her hockey Mom background to share a story that actually leaves the ice – about a sixth grader who suddenly finds himself off the “cool kid” list and having to find an identity outside of hockey. Yes, life is tougher to navigate for most youth hockey kids when they’re OFF the ice and Kris does a great job sharing this dilemma.
One of the issues I have with the current state of youth hockey is that there is so much emphasis on what goes on at practice and in the games. What should be of greater concern is what is happening to these kids in the classroom, with their friends and in the neighborhood. Kris broaches this topic adeptly in her new juvenile fiction book. I think your kids will love it and if yours are like mine, any story that draws its sourcing from a sport goes right to the top of the list of reading preferences – even if there’s a really strong moral element! Great job, Kris. Now click on the link and go buy one!