Every hockey team has its roles. There’s the coach. The official. The forward, defenseman and goalie. A team manager. And, of course, there’s mom and dad.
A role defined well beyond the confines of a sheet of ice, but a role that, when your child is on said sheet of ice, is just as important to their success. Parents are a pivotal part of a child’s hockey experience, and the way they act at the rink and toward the game makes a difference in your child’s passion to play.
So, what type of hockey parent are you? Which role are you taking in hockey parenthood? You might be surprised.
There’s something special about the car ride to and from the rink. Yes, every single one of them (6 a.m. and 8 p.m. just the same).
The car ride allows the perfect bonding time between you and your son or daughter — about hockey and everything else in between.
The chauffer parent is the parent who knows when it’s time to talk shop (Xs and Os of a recent game or practice) and when it’s time to turn up the radio dial and move on. It’s the type of parent who is in the driver’s seat, quite literally, while helping their child be in the driver’s seat of their hockey career by having those conversations.
And don’t worry, the chauffer parent’s car comes in every form of messy to clean to somewhere in the middle, filled to the brim with smelly hockey bags, laughing players and siblings, and goldfish on the floor.
OK, we’ve pretty much all been the cheerleaders in our children’s lives since the moment they were born. But what makes the cheerleader extra important is the pep in the step during the toughest moments. The moments where your kiddo feels down and defeated.
Maybe he didn’t make the A team, or maybe she allowed the game-winner to slip into the back of the net. It’s easy to be the cheerleader when things are good, but the cheerleader parent knows the importance of being there when things aren’t so great.
Rah, rah, rally your kid on in all moments, on and off the ice. Remind them why they play the game and why you love watching them play it; the life lessons, the friendships and the fun.
“What’s for dinner?”
It’s on the more annoying end of the parent question spectrum, but the chef parent takes great pride in a gameday meal or snack — for their individual child or for an entire team for the bold and daring. Sure, it might not always be the homemade option (we’re only human and sometimes Chipotle is on the way to the arena), but it’s making the right choice of fuel for your athlete.
Plus, the chef parents recognize that, especially at the younger levels, the postgame treat is usually more important than the scoreboard. The chef parent focuses on fun and treats as much as health and organization.
The teacher parent comes in a few different forms.
First, there’s the teacher, who is there to help teach their kids. Lending a hand with skills, at home or even maybe offering to assistant coach or help run a clinic in the association.
Secondly, there’s the teacher parent, who is there for other parents. Not everyone is well-versed in the game of hockey. The teacher parent helps educate newcomers to the sport, answering questions and sharing insight to dispel confusion and grow our favorite game.
The Family First
It’s the one-size-fits-all category for hockey parents. The mamas, daddys, mothers and pops. The grandparent and auntie and uncle wranglers, and the one making sure little brother has enough entertainment for another night at the rink.
It’s the parents that always put family first. Looking out for their child and knowing that whatever journey their hockey path goes on, it’s about doing something together as a family in a fun environment like hockey.
So whatever your role, however you approach the season, make sure you put your best foot forward. Have fun, and soak up every second of watching your child learn to play and love a game. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime role that you’re privileged to have while you can.