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Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – Advice To Parents

To become a father or mother is a life changing experience.  It is to become responsible for the raising and nuturing of another life.  It is when our children become hockey players that we enter into a new lifestyle, a new community that is unlike any other that surrounds a team sport.  All of us that have grown in this community know of what it is that I speak of.

To be sure we only want the best for our children.  We do all that we can to raise them right and provide for them a good life yes?  Part of growing is also to be parents letting their children go in order to let them grow.

It was just this weekend that I sit with the scouts and the coaches while watching a very good Tier II junior game.  The scouts and the coaches act very much like the players on the team, it is how we keep the team atmosphere for ourselves in our age.  Even when we may work for the different teams it is still about talking about the players and the game that keeps us energized to watch and work with the player.

This weekend I see a very good player, young and very skilled that I do not see before.  This is not too un-common with so many player to see in the world today.

So I ask my collegues about what they know.  Everyone have the good report on the player skill.  Everyone say the player is a good person as well.  Everyone also say to stay away from the player because the parents are difficult to deal with.

Once I hear that I ask what make them difficult.

My question was quickly answered with the stories of the parents constantly complaining.  The parents calling the coaches.  The parents sending the emails to coaches complaining more and then telling the coaches what should happen.

Difficult?  That is the nice way to say it.  This player, because of his parents is not going places.  Even though he have the skill to play at the higher levels, none of the coaches are willing to take the player because of the parents.

Once a player enters a high level of hockey, from Bantam Major up, the parent must learn to stop trying to be a parent with anything that has to do with the team or the coaches.  The coaches are there to do the job of coaching and growing the player on the ice within the team structure, not the parents.  Unless you are already an Agent or Adviser, do not try to act like one.

To be sure it is alright for the parent to ask questions from time to time concerning the development of the player, it is expected to be so.  It is not alright for the parent to try to tell the coach what to do or how to do it.  It is not alright to constantly complain about what you want, the coach is trying to build the team, not just one player.

Parents you must understand that some of you are ruining your childrens ability to move to the highest levels.

You do not shop at the store where you do not like the person who works at the check out counter.  Most of you would tell your friend of the bad experience you had with the person at that store in order to make sure they do not have the same bad experience.

The same is true for hockey.  If the word is spread that the parents are the bad experience, the player will not be wanted.  The coaches and the scouts will stay away, just like your friends stay away from the store you spoke badly about.

There is a line not to be crossed.  There is the question and then there is the questioning of ability, knowledge or skill of the coaches.

Parents, support your children.  Do not cross the line of the coach.  The career you may ruin, may be your own childs, if you do not know when to stop talking.


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