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Mom Mondays: You’re the hockey mom – it’s your job!


When I read Adam Williams’ recent post about the lack of parental intervention following an incident at the Lac St-Louis Lions minor hockey club, my head popped off. Good thing I had some hockey tape handy to hold it together! I sincerely hope the disciplinary hearing for this coach results in his suspension, after he’s forced to do 300 push-ups in front of his former team of course.

Hockey is an emotional game, that’s for sure. Parents, however, do have a right – and an obligation – to speak their mind to their kids’ hockey coaches. I don’t mean that every parent should complain to their kids’ coach that their child spent twenty seconds less on the ice than his line-mates during the third shift of the second period. That’s neurotic. I’m talking about a little social interaction with the coach so they know your style of hockey too.

By this point in the minor hockey season, most coaches have shared their coaching philosophy and expectations with the parents. This is generally done at the parent meeting which takes place at the team icebreaker party or in the arena dressing room, while the kids and assistant coaches take to one of their practices of the season. Your child is asked for their commitment, and you are asked for money. Fair deal.

There’s nothing wrong, however, with providing a little insight to the coach about your hockey philosophy too. If it’s important to your child and your family, it might sound something like this …

Can I have a quick word with you about the budget…?

It’s about that tournament over the Christmas holidays…

I need to talk to you about Sam’s exam schedule at school…

Alison may not be playing at her optimum level quite yet; she’s recovering from the flu…

Linden will try to adjust his weekly work schedule around hockey, but he is saving for university…

Please don’t think less about April that she’s already forgotten about the 7-2 loss by the time you reach the dressing room for the postgame chat. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about hockey …

As for the crazy hockey parenting or lunatic coaching styles, well, there’s something called the 24-Hour Rule and if your hockey association doesn’t employ it, you should advocate for it. If you’re angry or upset about a coaching decision made during a practice or game, you should avoid talking to the coach about it for 24 hours. This is the cooling off period following which level heads will prevail. Same goes for the coaches. I’m pretty sure the Lac St-Louis coach woke up the next morning after that 7-2 loss and thought, “Hmm, maybe 300 push-ups for those eleven-year-olds wasn’t such a good idea.” (And if he didn’t, he sure is now!)

But once that twenty-four hours has passed? Well, it kinda like that airport security campaign, “If you see something, say something.” And you should. You definitely should.

Three cheers for the new hockey season – and “if you see something, say something!”

Tags: minor hockey

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