No one in youth hockey has more influence on a child's experience than his or her parents. Hockey will provide you with numerous opportunities to provide your son or daughter with important life lessons and memories that will last forever so be ready to take advantage of them.
Here are a few challenges you are bound to run into along the way and some tips on how to deal with them:
One of the first challenges most new hockey parents face is securing and learning about hockey equipment. Most hockey associations in Minnesota have some sort of equipment rental program that can help provide some of the gear for a deposit or a small fee. For a complete guide to the equipment your player needs as well as a video on how to put it on, check out our Hockey 101 page.
Our community based youth hockey associations in Minnesota depend heavily on parents to volunteer their time in order to keep hockey available locally and at an affordable price. Once you join youth hockey, the association will likely ask you to volunteer for minor tasks such as penalty box attendant, scorekeeper or to work the concession stand throughout the season.
Fire Up the Fundraiser
Similar to volunteering, fundraisers play a critical role in keeping registration fees low. Each association has their own fundraisers that they rely on ranging from charitable gambling to silent auction dinners or calendar sales and everything in between. Regardless of the type of event or sale, the more you can fundraise, the less expensive hockey will be for you and the rest of the families in your community.
Throughout your child's time in hockey, it is almost a certainty that you will be pressured on how you approach the game of hockey. From off season development opportunities to the type of equipment your player uses, other parents and program representatives are going to offer you free advice on what your player should do to improve. Not all of them will truly have you or your kid's best interests in mind. The key to deciphering them is education. Use the resources provided by Minnesota Hockey and USA Hockey to build a solid knowledge base and add to it by talking with a variety of people in your association and other local hockey associations.
Tame the Rollercoaster
Over the course of your child's time in sports, one of the best lessons they will learn is how to deal with adversity. Keeping that in mind will help you and your player view challenges as opportunities to learn and use your emotions in a positive way.
Find a Balance
Just like everything in life, it is important to maintain a nice balance between hockey and other activities. Encourage your child to become a well-rounded individual by pursuing other activities and interests outside of hockey.