Kids, Minor Hockey and Crazy Parents

When it comes to parents, kids and sports, in particular hockey, I believe Don Cherry said it best.

I don’t agree with the stab at other sports, but his point is well made. Sports parents are a different breed, and so it shapes the personality of the kids.  If your kids play sports, especially travel, they are as dedicated as their parents. Or vice a versa, the kids learn dedication from their parents. If kids play travel, the parents travel like a pact of wolves. They are willing to devour anything that gets in their way. After this past weekend, I decided to share my thoughts on travel sports.

Parents and kids need to do the following:

1)      Win, with class. There is no need to rub the losing teams face in it. They know they lost and they feel like crap.

2)      Lose, with grace. When you know you have lost, or are losing badly, there is no need to behave poorly. For example: you’re out onto the ice swinging fists, elbows, or slashing with a few minutes left in the game. There is such a thing as losing gracefully. Learn to accept it. Learn from the mistakes made in the game, and move on to improve.

3)      Dedication is a hard lesson to learn. Especially if it’s a process that’s a few years in the making. I believe the hardest position is a goalie.

The first year my son played goalie his team was absolutely terrible. They sucked.

“Dad, I don’t wanna be a goalie anymore.” Lucas sobbed.

“You honestly don’t like it anymore?” my husband replied.

“I wanna play out.”

“Why?”

“Cause I can help the team better if I play out. I can score goals.”

“Lucas you know the team isn’t losing because of you right?”

“Yeah, I, I guess.”

It took my husband to point out he was the last line of defense. Every goal wasn’t his fault. You win as a team, and you lose as a team.

Year two as a goalie

The year started off much the same as the previous year. Losing. Then over this past weekend, at the Gene Harrington Invitational in Niagara Falls, NY something miraculous happened. They won. Not just a game, but the whole tournament.

The team was dedicated, the parents are dedicated, and this past weekend it finally paid off. So my lesson isn’t just dedication will help you win, but persistence.

Crazy Parents

Now here are my rules for crazy sports parents. First, you don’t want to be like these crazy parents.

Rules

  1. Know the rules of the game before you shoot off your mouth. If you don’t know the rules well, it’s best not to say anything at all.
  2. Put your goggles on. In other words, your son/daughter elbows another kid. Don’t blame the other kid. Instead, after the game, tell your kid you saw what they did and it’s not impressive. That behavior is not what makes a good player.
  3. No point in yelling at the officials. The more you yell, the more bad calls they’ll make. So in other words. Keep your mouth shut.
  4. Other parents may not have their goggles on. Be the bigger parent and say little. It’s really easy to cause a brawl by having two hot heads shout at each other. Usually they’re both wrong and it teaches the kids nothing.
  5. Co-ed sports. Make sure you don’t do what happened to our players this weekend. Some ASS belittled his kid when he realized we had three girls on the team. The shock came during the awards portion of the tournament when they removed their helmets. “Do you see that son, you played terrible, and what’s worse is you guys were beaten by some girls.” Really???? What decade are you in??? Now for the record I’m not sure if this parent was from a previous game or the one we had just played. Either way the comment is completely inappropriate.
  6. Wives, husbands, significant others or grandparents, if you have an ASS like above either bring duct tape to shut their mouth or leave them at home. Also, feel free to correct the moronic comments. In PUBLIC, so everyone can hear.
  7. It’s ok to give constructive criticism, only if it’s constructive and not destructive. “You could have gone down sooner for the puck, or don’t wait for the puck to come to you. You need to go to it….etc.”
  8. It’s appropriate to cheer for your own team but it’s also appropriate to recognize the other team. For example: The other goalie makes an awesome save. It’s ok to cheer even if you’re playing against them. It shows good sportsmanship. A lesson the kids can learn.

Remember you’re there to support the kids. They aren’t pros.

IT’S JUST A GAME.

Do you agree with my rules? Have you encountered instances mentioned above? How did you handle it?

I would like to hear your suggestions.

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