Todd Millar, past volunteer President of Hockey Calgary, has written a book entitled, “Moron: the Behind the Scenes Story of Minor Hockey”. As a past Hockey Mom, I’ve witnessed some of the behaviors that he describes. One incident occurred when our boys’ were scheduled to play and we were watching the Div One game that was finishing. Some of the parents of the other teams were banging on the plexi glass and swearing at the officials. Slyly, we parents all looked at each other and were grateful that our boys were happily average. They wouldn’t ever be seeing the inside of an NHL locker room. And that was just fine…

But is high level hockey the only place where this can happen? It can actually occur at any level including the level our boys were playing at, much to our surprise. The bullying happened not only on the ice or in the stands but spilled over into the parking lot afterward. More than once, we were a bit scared trying to get our boys out of the building and safely to our cars especially if the parents of the opposing team didn’t like a check or call from the ref. It was just ridiculous. Ah, aren’t the boys supposed to be learning solid skills and having some fun, too??

We are the first teachers of our children and if they see us carrying on without any self-control, what are we teaching them in the short-term and most important, in the long-term? Parents shouldn’t be trying to live out their lost “dreams” of sports brilliance through their children. Nor should they put unfair pressure on them to win at any cost.

Maybe we need a bit a crash course on teaching and practicing good sportsmanship.

  • Our children should arrive on time, ready to play and properly dressed for the sport.
  • They should bring their own equipment…don’t be a borrower.
  • They shouldn’t boast about how well they play.
  • Our children should follow the rules of the game. Never cheat.
  • Greeting their teammates shows that they are positive and encouraging with everyone especially if a teammate should make a mistake in the play.
  • Help them to practice self-control by not swearing or acting up if they make a bad play or don’t win the game.
  • Teach them to be a gracious winner or a good loser.
  • Win or lose, our children when shaking hands with their opponent and the other game officials will thank them for a good game.

Sports of all kinds are so beneficial for our children on so many levels. I thoroughly loved watching and cheering on my son and his team at their games. And I would agree with Mr. Millar that 95% of the minor hockey experience is fantastic and very enjoyable. It’s just that 5% that can ruin it for everyone else which is a real pity. Can you suggest any good solutions? Please include them in the comments.

Source: National Post

Louise Fox Protocol Solutions

Submitted by Maria Doll

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