You don’t have to be that hockey parent…
Posted by Dean Holden at September 14th, 2014
by Christie Casciano Burns, September 2014
We’ve all met them (and if you haven’t met them, then we’re probably talking about you) — The Despicable Me Hockey Parent. They’re the ones hurling insults during a heated game, berating refs or playing Scotty Bowman from the stands.
Before you fall into this trap, why not consider the following, and make a run for The Respectable Me Hockey Parent?
Learn the value of restraint. It’s something Arizona goalie mom Sharon Enck, aka Puck Gal, has tried to achieve.
“Everyone will forgive you if you forget the team snack, but may not be as quick to turn the other cheek if you spew obscenities at a game,” she says.
Enck says it’s best to avoid being the parent everyone hates, for your sake and your child’s.
And for the game’s sake, parent behavior needs to change, says Kevyn Adams, the vice president and Academy of Hockey director at the Harbor Center in Buffalo, N.Y.
“It seems that in sports today, the concept of good sportsmanship is lost and parents should remember to behave in an honorable way that we would want our kids to emulate in the future,” he says.
Active (But Not Over Reactive)
After years of playing, coaching and going to rinks with his own son, Adams has yet to come across a kid who likes losing. But a loss can be a win, with the right spin.
“Leave it on the ice,” says Adams, who played 11 years in the NHL. “Encourage them to control the factors that they have control over, such as giving 100 percent effort on the ice.”
If you lighten up, Adams says, your kids will enjoy the game more and worry less about the outcome — something out of their control.
There’s no postgame analysis for Enck.
“I let my daughter talk, uninterrupted for five minutes after a game,” she says. “Once the five minutes are up, we’re done.”
Keep the passion positive and let other mamas have the drama.
“Talking smack about other kids and parents is bad form,” Enck says. “And it’s a small world, so remember that if your kid stays in the sport long enough you will see them again.”
Perhaps there’s nothing more discouraging to a child than in-game antics by parents.
“In those cases where you do become upset, remove yourself from the environment so your child doesn’t see your negativity,” Adams says.
Sports can bring out the best in us. It can also bring out the worst. Leave “despicable me” at home.
Be that Honorable, Active, Passionate, Patient with our Youth parent — you’ll soon learn that you don’t need to be wearing Pharrell’s oversized hat to be HAPPY!