Helping or hindering, 5 common mistakes parents make

in Other News



As another hockey season is fast approaching, it is a good time for hockey parents to take a moment and think about why their kids are playing hockey, and what they can do to make their child’s hockey experience as positive as possible.

Head coach Eric Blais of the Kelowna Minor Hockey Assocication has outlined five common problem areas for hockey parents:



Parents who create problems for their children in athletics seldom set out to do it intentionally, yet it can happen.

Here are five common ways in which parents can hinder a player’s enjoyment of any sport:

1. Misplaced Enthusiasm

Parents sometimes overemphasize outcomes such as winning or losing, rather than focusing on their child’s enjoyment, growth and development. They want to be enthusiastic, but aren’t sure how to express their enthusiasm effectively. Astute coaches often channel such parent’s energy by giving them important support roles or tasks. In the process, the parents are often educated regarding the complexity of the coach’s task.

2. Inducing Guilt

Parents can spend thousands of dollars and countless hours on youth hockey participation. It is very easy for children to begin to notice the sacrifice and feel tremendous guilt and pressure to do well. Parents need to regularly remind their children that they enjoy providing the opportunity and that there are no strings attached. Children need to appreciate their opportunities, yet should not be made to feel guilty about them.

3. Living Vicariously Through Our Children

Parents sometimes push their children to make up for their own past frustrations and limitations. Too much vicarious involvement by the parent can become a tremendous burden to a young hockey player and could become a cause of embarrassment.

4. Glimmer of Gold

For too many parents, gold medals and rich contracts become the main focus. It’s fine to be ambitious, but the reality is that less than 1% of children who start hockey will go on to make a living at it. Be supportive but stay rational – there is a probably much more upward social mobility in other fields than there is in hockey. If your child happens to excel through the vehicle of hockey, great – but don’t let the expectations become a burden or a distraction.

5. Losing Perspective

Parents sometimes lose sight of what is important for children and themselves. Growth and development and preparation for life need to be the priority. Parents and children should regularly discuss values associated with sport. Knowing who we are, what is important in life, and how sport fits in, are all part of achieving a balanced perspective. With the bigger picture in place, both parents and children are less prone to forgetting what the real priorities need to be.

Any of these five potential problem areas may hurt your child and destroy the potential of hockey programs. Become aware of any specific area that you might fall prey to, and consciously work to avoid these kinds of concerns.

The following link will take you to the entire document ” Chevrolet Safe and Fun Hockey A Parents Approach”

This is a very informative document, take the time and look at it.