In reality, your team manager along with your coach will cover the majority of the process each season but there are a few key pointers we wanted to mention here.
Start of the Season
Whether this is your first or last season with the Thunderbirds, the approach of September is always an exciting time in a hockey house. From replacing outgrown pieces of equipment (remember Thunderbirds get a 10% discount at Cyclone Taylor) to taking part in the Thunderbirds Summer Camp program to getting physically ready for the first time skates will hit the ice for the season, it is all about getting back on the ice with friends and maximizing the experience.
For parents, this also means juggling schedules, early morning alarms and spending time in the rink with old and new friends. It also means finding a role to help your team with. Your team manager will be the central hub of information for the team and it is about helping them make the experience great for your child as well as the others. They cannot do it alone, nor should they be expected to. Every Thunderbird parent is expected to help their team with at least one task during the season, so by putting your name down early, you will get to choose what that task is as opposed to whatever is left.
Step 1: Talk to your team manager early to find something you can help them with. A number of examples can be found here however every team may be a bit different.
Your team manager and the Association will both be using TeamSnap as the main source of information.
Step 2: Accept the invitation to join Thunderbirds TeamSnap. You will have full control over who will receive notifications or messages.
During the season
We all know the common misconceptions of what hockey parents are like. Emotion is a large part of sport, and we want what is best for our children. Neither of these elements should, or will, change but our actions and words should always be respectful no matter the situation. Staff want to know if there are issues and are here to help, however Vancouver Thunderbirds Hockey does follow a 24 hour rule before a conversation about any issue other a safety matter will be discussed.
Step 1: Your child(ren), and those of your friends, are looking to our parents for examples. Be an example of what you want your child(ren) to become in all situations. The flow of communication to employ should you wish to speak to someone can be found here.
Every team will have assigned home practices, games and skills sessions along with away games. Teams will play in one or more tournaments during the season as decided upon by the team. Not only do their teammates need them to be there, the skill development of your child(ren) is completely in their, and your, control as they will not improve without being there.
Step 2: Find a way to get your child to every ice time.
End of the season
There will be parties to attend, jerseys to return, and goodbyes to be said. Another season is now behind you, and the rest of the spring and summer are ahead. For many, hockey will continue while others will have other priorities take over the household schedule. The only right choice is the one that is right for your family and what your child(ren) want to do.
Step 1: The options are truly countless - within hockey and in other sports and activities. Vancouver Thunderbirds Hockey believes in the value of a multi-sport athlete and we do encourage you to avoid putting your child(ren) on the ice (including hockey and/or skating) twelve months of the year. Overuse injuries are a reality, as is the need to re-energize the passion to be on the ice.
Step 2: Be ready to register for another great season of hockey with the Thunderbirds in late April/early May!