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.
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