Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Preseason Parent Prep

    Before we delve into a new season, I wanted to reach out to some veteran hockey moms and dads for advice on how to ease into and through the months ahead.  I think you'll pick up on a common theme here.

                           40 teams and counting!

                                                                            by Amy Colclough

    From my little bubble, here is how my family has survived almost 40 different hockey teams between my two sons.

     * Stay focused on the player’s experience. Ask yourself if the coaching staff shares that philosophy and if they don’t try to understand where they are coming from.
     *Are the players growing their skills, leadership, teamwork? My role as a hockey Mom, team manager and scheduler has always centered around a good experience for the players and it has always worked out great. Happy players…happy coaches…happy parents helps keep the sanity intact in the long haul. It’s not always perfect, but in the long run, it has worked well for our hockey families!

       *Most parents feel good about helping out too, so have an environment that is conducive to team work on the parents end of things. Make people feel welcome.
       *Thank the coaches for their time and commitment. We have had coaches over the years that didn’t speak much to goal setting. We have always tried to have our sons set goals for themselves on things they feel they need to work on and what resource/s they might need, other than their focus and hard work/practice, to achieve those goals, regardless of whether the team and/or coaching staff is doing this. This can help them be the best they can be and feel good about it. (and maybe encourage others too!)

       *Saving time and money – we have always been meal planners – cooking a lot on Sunday afternoons for rest of week. We try to all share our evening meal together each night, even if it is only for 15 minutes. We use that time to chat about what’s coming up in the days that follow. You’d be amazed at how much it helps some players…especially if they are anxious about something and it also reinforces that good stuff is upcoming. Be a good listener. So we might cook up 6 or 8 lbs of chicken breast and use it in several recipes throughout the week. When we have a long car ride, we try to pack a meal in a cooler because it’s healthier than stopping roadside and buying junk food or spending that extra money. This usually enables us to afford a really nice dinner while we are on trips. Also we surf the internet to find restaurants in the area we are going and look for coupons. We also car pool where we can, including to practices and games.
    * Let’s face it, if you are not having fun somewhere on this journey, it’ll be a long one. 


                                         SAVING TIME AND MONEY
                                                                                                    by Frank Colabufo 
     As far as saving time… Much of this is in the hands of the coach. Hopefully, your child's coach doesn't keep the kids in the locker room too long after practices and games-even if they don't play well-understanding that parents and siblings are in the lobby waiting to get on with the rest of their lives. On saving money… Hockey is an expensive sport. If your child is a Mite, make friends with a Squirt parent who tends to buy their child really good equipment and see if you can get it at a good price when they outgrow it in a year. Young kids don't wear out equipment before they outgrow it. Especially skates! Trust me. 
       On preserving your sanity… I would remind parents to stay focused on the big picture. Don't live and die with every shift. Try your best to not let your happiness be determined by how well a bunch of 10 year-olds pass the puck on a Saturday morning.

1 comment:

  1. "Try your best to not let your happiness be determined by how well a bunch of 10 year-olds pass the puck on a Saturday morning."

    Great advice!!!