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:
Be Involved & Supportive
It is important for you to be involved without being overbearing. Whether that means volunteering to coach or cheering from the stands, it can be a fine line for parents to walk. Remember the main focus should be on letting the kids have fun while taking on a supportive role. Don't forget to savor the memories you are making along the way.
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. Keep in mind these are opportunities to learn when something occurs and your protective instincts take over and urge you to step in.
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.
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.