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Re: Do you want to be a successful parent youth hockey coach?

Since we are offering unsolicited feedback.

1. Tell yourself before every practice and every game this is about the kids. It is not an extension or reflection on your hockey legacy.
2. Make your kid work harder than every other kid on the team. This sets the expectation for the rest of the kids. This doesn’t mean screaming at your kid for making a mistake. There is a difference between a kid making a mistake when pushing themselves versus being lazy.
3. Control your temper on the bench. Volatile coaches make volatile players. If you chirp at a ref or another coach, you are absolutely telling the players they can too.
4. Control your temper on the ice. Nothing says “I’m an abusive parent” than angrily slamming hockey sticks against the boards during practice.
5. Give the player/parents feedback throughout the season on the player’s progression. This doesn’t mean nit picking a few mistakes in a game. If they are not making mistakes, they aren’t challenging themselves.
6. Parents are not subservient to you just because you have a whistle and a $10 embroidered patch on your jacket. Remember for the majority of the teams, the parents are the consumer. They have other choices, but wanted their kid to play for the team that you coach. Respect and appreciate it.
7. Other than one or two dads, no one wants to hear about your playing “career” unless you played in the NHL. Remember that a career is when you earned a sustainable living off of it. Parents are eye rolling after hearing about how you did for the 2nd, 3rd, or 10th time.
8. Mistakes should happen in practice. This is where kids push themselves. If they are not pushing themselves, they are not progressing at the rate they should.
9. Do not repeat a drill only when your kid screws up. It tells the other players you only care about how well they are doing.
10. Do not discuss a players development with any other players parent. Word spreads quickly.
11. Do not be the center of off-ice team activities. Be a parent, let the other parents organize tournaments, team functions, dinners. This is not your time to shine.
12. If a player leaves a team, wish them luck and move on. It’s the same when you cut a player, it just wasn’t the right fit at that time.
13. Know when it is time to let someone else coach your kid.
14. You are a parent like every other parent whose kid is on the team. Your job is to make good memories for the kids.
15. Remember, it is a kids game.

Re: Want your kid to have a successful youth club hockey career?

Just wanted to give some parents a follow up on what I am seeing this spring. During the spring and summer I run clinics for all ages and organize off ice session for players entering peewee major or older. I do this to make money, not to push your players into becoming high end talent. While on the ice I often think to myself that this is the biggest waste of parent/player energy. Every night I get countless emails and texts asking when the next session might be or if my group of coaches can work with teams. I have got in the habit of forwarding these emails and texts to fellow coaches so we can get a laugh. Personally, I would love to respond with "Stay away from the rink for the next 90 days" or "Remember when you told me your kid always looked sluggish towards the end of the year and I told you he was burnt out?" Please consider this if you truly want your kid enjoy the game for a long time.

1. Start them young and tell them the goal for hockey is to see how many years they can have fun for.
2. Never coach your kid at home or in the car.
3. Do not stand next to parents who bad mouth the coaches or players who are not theirs.
4. Never show negative emotion in the stands.
5. 1/4 rule. If your kids team practices for 80 hours a year, spend less than 20 hours watching. If your kid is on the ice for 60 second shift spend less than 15 seconds focused on him.
6. Play on a team for 6 months a year. Focus on a 2nd sport for the other 6 months.
7. If you must hit the rink in the spring or summer make sure it’s for skating sessions not tournaments.
8. Make sure they are never late getting on the ice. Coaches notice.
9. Enjoy tying their skates while you have to, but when they’re ready let them take the job over.
10. Congratulate them lightly and equally for an assist or goal but celebrate their effort loudly.
I agree with all except the 80% rule. I enjoy watching my kids compete and grow both on and off the ice. I also know sports for my kids will be over before I blink. Why would I watch as little as possible when I know I'm going to miss the trips to the rinks/fields in the near future? Nothing wrong with being a silent spectator.