as seen in USA Hockey Magazine September 2014
It might sound crazy what I’m about to say …
We’ve all met them before (and if you haven’t met them, then we’re talking about you) – The Despicable Me Hockey Parent. They’re the ones hurling insults during a heated game, chastising the ref’s, or playing Scotty-Bowman-from-the-stands.
Before you fall into this trap, why not consider the following, and make a run for The Respectable Me Parent?
Learn the value of restraint. It’s something Jr. Coyotes of Az. goalie mom Sharon Enck, AKA Puck Gal, has. “Everyone will forgive you if you forget the team snack, but may not be as quick to turn the other cheek if you spew obscenities at a game.” Enck says it’s best to avoid being the parent everyone hates, for your sake and your child’s.
As for the game’s sake, parent behavior needs to change says
president and Buffalo, NY . “It seems that in sports today, the concept of
good sportsmanship is lost and parents should remember to behave in an honorable
way that we would want our kids to emulate in the future.” Academy of Hockey Director Kevyn
Back stabbing the coach is a major parent offense. “By undermining your child’s coach, you’re taking away the coach’s credibility and giving your child a reason not to listen to them,” says
your comments leak into the locker room, how awkward that would be?” asks Enck.
Think refs are fair game for insults? USA hockey development program official Chris Costa asks that you think about the impact name calling in the stands can have on calls made on the ice, “For young, inexperienced officials, it could affect the next call, distract them for potential goals or violent plays. The aggression can also develop officials that are fearful to make the right call,” says Costa.
Active but not Over Reactive
After years of playing, coaching and going to rinks with his own son,
Adams has yet to
come across a kid who likes losing. But a loss can be a win, with the right
spin. “Leave it on the ice,” says Adams. “Encourage
them to control the factors that they have control over, such as giving 100%
effort on the ice.” If you lighten up, Adams says your
kids will enjoy the game more and worry less about the outcome – something out
of their control.
There’s no post game analysis for Enck, “I let my daughter talk, uninterrupted for five minutes after a game. Once the five minutes are up, we’re done.”
Keep the passion positive and let other mamas have the drama. “Talking smack about other kids and parents is bad form. And it’s a small world, so remember that if your kid stays in the sport long enough you will see them again,” says Enck.
Perhaps there’s nothing more discouraging to a child than post game antics by parents. “In those cases where you do become upset, remove yourself from the environment so your child doesn’t see your negativity,” says
Sports can bring out the best in us. It can also bring out the worst. Leave “despicable me” at home. Be that Honorable, Active, Passionate, Patient with our Youth parent – you’ll soon learn you don’t to be wearing Pharrell’s oversized hat to be Happy.