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A Hockey Coach’s Advice for Brand New Spring Hockey Parents

04/19/2017, 7:00am PDT
By Kelvin


Try a different sport. 

No no, I’m joking. I think? 

For sure I am. Am I?

Anyways let’s get to it. This spring I have the immense fortune to find myself involved in some of the most exciting, riveting, culturally stimulating events the lower mainland has to offer. 

Spring hockey tournaments. 

I’m serious - nothing says calm, cool, and collected like the crowd enjoying a 3-2 last minute nail-biter involving two teams of seven year-olds.

Despite my sarcasm, which I’m sure you’re enjoying, I’ll be honest: I love spring hockey. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’s filled with short term competitions and time flies when you’re having fun. But I’m a coach. I’m paid to have fun. The more fun I have, the better am I at teaching the details of the game. 

But for the parents in the crowd, sometimes it seems like fun isn’t even an option. 

Tip 1. Enjoy the Moment

Spring hockey tournaments create memories that last a lifetime. Spring hockey will never, ever be more valuable than the full season’s grind of winter hockey, but it offers your children the opportunity to get together, compete for a medal, and get out. 

So enjoy it while it lasts!

Tip 2. Minimize Coaching from Behind the Glass

It’s funny how spring hockey brings out the most animated arm gestures you’ve ever seen in your life. I get it - you’re into it - just know that while you’re throwing your shoulders out of joint, your energy miiiiiggght not quite translate into your child. In fact they probably won’t notice at all. 

But hey, if that’s ok with you, then bring it!

Tip 3. Rest is a Weapon

Particularly when you’re on a team that doesn’t have a ton of players, getting proper rest and eating well during spring hockey competitions won’t just help your child bring his or her best, thereby maximizing their development, it’s a big help to the team. It’s frustrating when certain players take the games seriously, while others stayed up till midnight the night before playing Call Of Duty and drinking pop.

Tip 4. Try Another Sport

This again! Seriously though, spring hockey can’t really become much more time consuming, can it? I should be careful what I say…

The reality is that hockey has become a year-round sport, and countless studies and research by people a lot smarter than me claim that specializing in one exclusive sport could end up hampering a child’s athletic development in that sport of choice in the long run. 

Did you know you can swim at the North Shore Winter Club? You can play tennis, there are basketball camps this summer, there’s lots you can do at the club and elsewhere. Playing multiple sports helps young hockey players socialize within new settings, learn new physical skills, and develop mental strategies to be competitive in other areas. 

Oh, and there will still be time to play in arm-waving spring hockey tournaments. 

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