Paging parents: let coaches do their jobs
To the Point
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before.
Johnny is just starting out as a goaltender in the atom division of minor hockey somewhere in the Trinity-Conception-Placentia region. He is learning the ropes of the position and loves the game.
Big John, as his father is called, loves watching his son play the game he loves. So much so, he follows Johnny around the rink. If his son is at the far end of the stadium, Big John is right there, shouting instructions and looks to be supportive of his son.
Watching this play out, it seems harmless enough but then a troubling trend starts to show itself. Every time Johnny makes a save, he looks to the stands and dad gives him a thumbs up. The same thing happens with every goal let in.
When Johnny moves to the other end, so does Big John. The whole scenario plays out every period. Save, approval, save approval, goal, disapproval.
It becomes such a routine, that Johnny barely pays attention to his coaches on the bench who want him to try something different between the pipes. Instead, he only looks to the stands.
There’s a difference between supporting your child and trying to circumvent what their coaches are saying on the bench.
I’m just going to put this out there. Following your kid around the rink is stupid. It does nothing to spark his development. You telling him to get rid of the puck immediately does nothing for his game if his coaches are telling him to take his time and take a look.
Who do you think Johnny is going to listen to first?
It’ll be you and he’ll be worse for it. Pick a spot and stay there. Enjoy watching your kid play the game they love.
While we’re on the subject, there is a very slim chance that your kid is going to the Show. Whatever you’re screaming at him from the stands isn’t going to push him over the top. Neither will offering cash rewards for goals and assists.
Players should be focused on doing what they can to help the team, not to pad their stats or their piggy bank.
The only thing it teaches them is the art of being selfish and putting themselves above the team. At the end of the day, whether your kid has one point or five, the only score that matters is who won.
What do you think Patrick Kane cares about more, his point streak or winning hockey games?
I’ll give you a hint — he wants to win.
That’s not to say there won’t be players who shine on the ice. Every team has them. Your kid may even be one of them.
And, if he’s that good the goals will come. You don’t need to dangle Loonies and Twoonies in front of his face like a carrot on a stick to get him to score. It should be about him having fun and his team playing hard, not about what you can brag to your friends about.
He should be told that there are two sides to a hockey game, that his coaches’ advice rules and that your team’s success is his success too.
“My little hockey star scored three times today and did what I told him to do. What did yours do?”
“Mine got back on defence, supported his teammates and listened to his coaches.”
Riddle me this, which do you think is better?