I always am shocked and surprised when I go to youth hockey games and I watch the benches (both parent benches and player benches). Don’t get me wrong I am watching the game but it is almost impossible at times not to notice some of the crazy stuff that happens on the benches in youth hockey. By no means this is a complete list of stuff I have seen but we all can get a laugh at it and hopefully it will change the mindset of a hockey benches and stands.
1) A coach or parent screams “PASS” or “SKATE” when a player touches the puck. Now not sure how effective that has been for coaches and parents but the number one major reason a kid would stop playing is when he can’t play. Notice the word “PLAY” – Let’s let them play. Why scream at them when they play. If anyone ever did a study and tested the value of screaming at players I bet it does not work. I know it is hard to not scream when you are all into this game but try for the sake of the player. Give them a chance!
2) A parent constantly screams at someone else’s player. Now I think as a fan at a professional hockey game you may scream at everyone. Now if you scream “GET OFF THE ICE” to a player on the ice that is not your son how do you think that looks. Do you think it is ok for the other family to scream instructions to your kids? Don’t do this? Give the player a chance to make that decision or the coaches to work through that. You will just alienate yourself from your team.
3) A coach brings 20 players to a hockey game and rolls two lines. In essence 10 players play and 10 players watch. I have seen this way too much at younger levels. Ok you are teaching so many wrong things to both the players that are sitting and the players that are playing. You are telling the players sitting that they are not good enough to play. You are telling your players that I won’t even give you the opportunity to perform or you are not good enough to perform in this game. It is justified by coaches that this is the real world. Better get used to this in hockey because you are going to have to prove yourself. As a parent run from this as far as you can. Your son or daughter should not have to prove anything to anyone to play a game that they love. Evaluate better options for your player. That coach needs to get a job working with paid players and let the young players develop. Roll the lines. Let the kids play and develop!
4) During a youth hockey game parents yell at parents of the other team. The actions of adults who often drink heavily before and after youth hockey games are sometimes quite shocking. Drinking is not always the issue. Sometimes sober as can be adults choose to yell at a stranger for something that happens on the ice. As much fun it is socializing in hockey there is a limit to what you expose to your kids. Don’t yell at that random person!
5) Last but not least! How well can it turn out when you scream at the top of your lungs to your son’s coach! Coaches often don’t realize the emotions you as a parent are going through. Wait 1 day talk openly but courteously with the coach vs. screaming at him in front of both teams. Now you showed your son/daughter that yelling at coach is ok and you just made yourself look pretty bad. Give the coach a chance to do his job! Talk to him/her later when you can actually be productive.
These are some of the things you see quite common in hockey rinks. Let’s change and give those players a chance!
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