4 Secrets of Travel Hockey that Every Parent Needs To Know

So, you’re a hockey parent. The good news is, it will be an amazing experience for your child and yourself. The bad news, it can feel like you just took on a second or third job. Fear not, hockey parent, there are ways to make the job a little easier on yourself and on your child. Most of the important parts are going to have to come from within, as the hockey parent you set the tone for a good experience/season or a bad one.
First, as John Buccigross points out, hockey is a very hard sport to learn and even harder to be good at. Encourage your child, get them to practice (EVERY PRACTICE) but don’t berate them. Positivity and perspective is the name of the game.

Second, this game is about having fun above all else! I know, you want your child to win and be the best little hockey star they can be but that really doesn’t matter if they aren’t enjoying themselves now does it? Don’t worry about the score board, or the missed penalty calls or how much time the coach plays them. “Parents who treat a house league game in November like the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals are in for a bumpy ride”.  Table your inner competitiveness for the time being and just make sure they’re having fun and you’ll have more fun in the process.

Third, this may be the most important hockey parent survival and enjoyment tip, clean and air out the stinky gear every time it gets used. Hockey is a smelly sport and if that hockey bag is left to its own devices it will not only stink so bad it will require a gas mask to handle but it will breed bacteria from the moisture. Airing out is a key step, take everything out of the bag and hang it up on an equipment tree. Some of the equipment can be washed in your washing machine, when possible wash whatever stinky equipment you can. And as the commercial goes, for everything else there’s your favorite aerosolized deodorant.

Finally, enjoy the beauty of your child gliding around on the rink. I’ll repeat, hockey and skating, for that matter, is extremely difficult. But for some children it’s as if they were born with skates on their feet and the fluidity of their motion is truly beautiful. See the beauty and grace in the sport and relish in this unique and elegant skill.

Take a deep breath, you and your child will survive this!