Hockey Canada's Message to Parents:
The game of hockey is for kids. Kids play the game because they love it and because it is fun. As parents we must all realize that, for kids, positive participation is always more important than excellence. The personal and social development that comes from being part of a team is one of the most enriching experiences offered by the game. We must continue to live the values of fun and fair play, respect, integrity and teamwork with a balanced perspective of expectations and definition of success. We must celebrate our good experiences with this great game.
Our volunteers, our coaches, our referees, our parents and our children are all critical partners in ensuring the game sustains these high values. No one, however, is more critical than our parents. We must particularly assist our parents in setting reasonable expectations while understanding the game, its process and its administration.
Being a hockey parent is no easy task. Hockey parents are often called upon to wear many different volunteer hats, some of which result in conflicting roles. A hockey parent may be a coach, evaluator, director or a referee – any of whom is required to make decisions in everyone’s best interest while still being a mom or dad wanting what’s best for his or her own child. Parents wrestle with reconciling their roles and controlling their passion as fans while being faced with the constant challenge of ‘doing the right thing’. Hockey Canada is committed to helping those parents meet these challenges to ensure they continue to enjoy the game and have as much fun as their kids.
Remember, it’s about fairness and respect!
It’s about play!
It’s all about family!
It’s about us all having fun and being kids!
What else could really be more important?
How can you help?
There are a number of ways you can help the season be successful for your child and their friends.
- Be a support! Emotion is intertwined with sport, and watching a high speed, intense game such as hockey has been known to elevate the excitement in the arena. Whether your team wins or loses, or your child has the best game of their life or perhaps didn't play their best, it is important to remember everyone in the rink at that moment have a life outside of the rink, especially your child. Even something as simple as the car ride home can make or break their love of the game.
- Volunteer! Yes, it is something that every family is required to do, but let's look at it this way. If parents are quick to respond to the call for help from the team manager (who is just another parent volunteer), not only will your team manager be able to stop pulling their hair out, everyone associated with your team will have a great season! The roles that are needed to be filled every year can be found here - but if you have special skills that could help the overall association take steps forward, our staff will be happy to hear from you!
- Use the hockey experience to instill appreciation of commitment. Hockey is a team sport that is difficult to participate in without a team. Whether it is an early morning practice when your child (or you!) would prefer to sleep through, or a Friday night game that cuts into time with friends, it is critical for the team that everyone attends the practices/games/skills sessions they are scheduled for. Not only is it important to go to improve their game, the simple act of showing up shows a tremendous amount of respect for their teammates and coaches and will become a habit of being there for all things in life.