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DAILY DISH: Parental Interference Junior Hockey News

Published: Thursday, 26 Mar 2020  
By: Stephen Heisler,

Forgive them for they know not what they do


Hockey parents have always been known to hover over the line between what is acceptable and what is not. When emotions become part of the equation, all inhibitions often get tossed into the wind.


For as long as there have been organized youth sports, there have been overenthusiastic parents.  Parents have to know how to let go. That is easy enough to say, but very difficult to follow through with.


My now fourteen-year old daughter has me wrapped around her little finger and knows exactly what buttons to push to get whatever she wants. Call it love, or call it stupidity, but the fact is that I would do almost anything to get just one more smile out of that little girl's face.


Part of the problem is the delusion that often clouds our judgment. When she was younger, I’d laugh at the constant suggestions for Sonia get singing lessons. Now she has some of her music playing on the radio. She laughs at me now.


So I get hockey parents. There is no such thing as a bad hockey mom or dad. Any parent that is going to sit through years of bad coffee in cold ice rinks can't be all that bad. Frankly, they could be some of the most dedicated parents on the planet.


The point is simple. There is a system of development in place, the less the parent does to try and manipulate it, the better off the player is going to be. Dads that try and buy their way to the front of the line or moms that try to give away the cookies, neither is going to accomplish much more than embarrassment for their player.


The latest trend, and frankly the most disruptive, is the parent's decision to buy a team, or an interest in a team, simply to guarantee a roster spot for their son. The problem with this trend is that the parent often loses the passion for the game once their son ages out or moves on to college.


Parents can be especially dangerous when they get the idea that they know more about the game than the team's operational staff. A combustible situation arises when parents discuss their thoughts among themselves. When the leader of such a group decides to move forward and take the position to team management, they often find themselves standing alone, and their son quickly cut from the roster.


Parents need to stop drinking the bad rink coffee, bring a thermos of their own, and enjoy the experience of the game. It is not going to last forever, so allow the player to make the most of it. The smart parents should shy away the politics and allow their player to do his talking with his play on the ice.

Author: Stephen Heisler from
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

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