No one has a more significant influence on a kid’s youth hockey experience than his or her parents. Due to their role in their kids’ lives, parents have a unique opportunity to impact how kids view and approach the game of youth hockey as well as other areas of life.
Here are 11 principles that parents can use to promote good sportsmanship and a positive experience in youth hockey by modeling them for their kids:
- Children are involved in organized sports for their enjoyment. I will encourage and support my child’s desire to play his/her chosen sport but will not pressure him/her into participating.
- I will remember that the game is fun. I will not taunt or disturb other fans, or embarrass my child by yelling at players, coaches, or officials.
- I will support and promote Fair Play by encouraging my child to play by the rules. I will display good sportsmanship by applauding a good effort by both teams in victory and defeat, and respecting players, coaches, and officials.
- I will remember that “wins” are based on my child’s performance, teamwork, and playing within the rules.
- I will recognize the importance of volunteer coaches and will take the time to attend team meetings to get to know my child’s coach’s philosophy, expectations, and guidelines. I will communicate with my child’s coaches and support them.
- I understand that when my child is on the ice, the coaches do the coaching. I will not yell instructions to my child from the sidelines or give my child instructions counter to those of the coach.
- I understand that it is my role to teach my child sportsmanship, how to deal with success and failure, and to support my child’s development in the game.
- I will strive to become knowledgeable about the rules of the game and support the official’s decisions on and off the ice.
- I understand the importance of skill development. For the lower age groups, I will remember that practices benefit my child more than games and competition.
- I will respect locker rooms as private areas for players, coaches, and officials.
- I will not place unreasonable expectations on my child.