Before you join a team and say I do now,
Make sure it’s a good fit for you now,
This mama is telling you,
You better shop around!
Wait a minute, you’re thinking, cute song, but that makes no sense. Teams pick kids, not the other way around. Not necessarily. If your young hockey player enjoys multiple sports and activities during the season, you’ll want to find a program that will give them a chance to grow their skills and still have a life outside of hockey.
As hockey dad/coach Michael Bonelli with the Bears hockey team points out, “Your family is unique and your child’s interests and activities are unique. If you choose to play for a team and a coach that offers little to no flexibility when it comes to other activities, then you’re setting yourself up for frustration before the season even begins.”
It may take some detective work, but don’t be afraid to ask questions, “As a parent you need to know start of the season, end of the season, holiday schedule, weekly commitment.” A weekday practice before school, not cool? Do all players play every position, or is the coach going to determine your child is a “born defenseman” at age 9? Find out!
Finding a good match may take a little extra work, but well worth the effort, “Finding a team, a coach and an organization that adheres to the same values and expectations as your family will make for a smoother experience throughout the season.” says Bonelli.
While you might not find the team that fits like a hockey glove, knowing ahead of time how much an organization and team structures their program, can make a world of difference down the road.