Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rules that should Rule at the Rink

He calls them simple rules, but I'm going to go ahead and call them the 13 Golden Rules for hockey parents. ESPN Sports Anchor John Buccigross, who endeared himself to me forever by confessing to me in an e-mail that he loves hockey moms, has come up with a must-read list for all hockey parents, whether you're a newbie or a veteran in the stands. Simple rules? Not that simple, if you spend any time at the rinks and witness how parents can so often and so easily complicate matters. That's why we need good, snappy writers like John to keep us focused on what truly should matter.
When asked what inspired him to come up with the list, he told me that being a father of two hockey players (ages 10 and 17), he has seen a lot and he's a pretty observational guy. That will become obvious as you read on. He writes from the heart and from experience; " If nothing else, it gets them away from electronics and teaches them a small slice of humanity that they can take forward through life, a life with more heart and less battery power. The rink's cold robs electronics of their battery power and signal reception, anyway."
Here are two of my favorite rules;

2. Hockey is an emotional game and your child has the attention span of a chipmunk on NyQuil. The hockey coach will yell a bit during practice; he might even yell at your precious little Sparky. As long as there is teaching involved and not humiliation, it will be good for your child to be taught the right way, with emphasis
3. Hockey is a very, very, very, very difficult game to play. You are probably terrible at it. It takes high skill and lots of courage, so lay off your kid. Don't berate them. Be patient and encourage them to play. Some kids need more time to learn how to ride the bike, but, in the end, everyone rides a bike about the same way. Your kids are probably anywhere from age 4-8 when they first take up hockey. They will not get a call from Boston University coach Jack Parker or receive Christmas cards from the Colorado Avalanche's director of scouting. Don't berate them. Demand punctuality and unselfishness for practice and games. That's it. Passion is in someone, or it isn't. One can't implant passion in their child. My primary motive in letting my kids play hockey is exercise, physical fitness and the development of lower-body and core strength that will one day land them on a VH1 reality show that will pay off their student loans or my second mortgage.
Of course you want to read more.....For the rest , click here!
John Buccigross serves as a SportsCenter and ESPNEWS anchor and occasionally hosts ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. He joined ESPN as an ESPNEWS anchor in October 1996, prior to the launch of the 24-hour sports news network that November. Buccigross was the primary host of NHL 2Night, ESPN2’s 30-minute program dedicated to hockey highlights and news from 1998 – 2004. Since 2001, he has also been a weekly ESPN.com columnist. Buccigross signed a book deal in the spring of 2006 with Middle Atlantic Press to write the life story of former NHL player and current NHL analyst Keith Jones. The book's title is Jonesy: Put Your Head Down And Skate. The Improbable NHL Career of Keith Jones.

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