On opening day of the baseball season, somebody famous usually throws out the ceremonial first pitch. You know it's opening day of the minor hockey season, the old joke goes, when the first parent is thrown out.
OK, so we're kidding. Sort of.
It's minor hockey time again. The best and worst time of the year all wrapped up in one.
So, at absolutely no cost, we are providing the Unofficial Guide To Being A Better Hockey Parent. Here are some guidelines:
Support Your Child: And we're not talking economics here. Research has shown the majority of kids participate in minor sports first and foremost to have fun. Kids aren't thinking NHL at age 11, even if some parents are. Let them have fun, their fun. You can enjoy it, just don't live it for them.
The Car Ride Home: This can be a point of major friction between players and parents. Don't get in the car after games and ask a million questions. Don't criticize their play -- or pick apart their teammates. Let them talk. Let them say what's on their mind. Respond with a lot of uh-huhs, and "I sees." If you want to ask questions, ask if they had fun? This can be an emotional ride after an emotional game. Make it better. Don't make it worse.
Support Your Coach: The majority of minor hockey coaches are volunteers, giving of their time. Some are more qualified than others. Some are better communicators than others. But almost all of them, to start with, deserve the benefit of the doubt. If you second guess the coach in front of your child, all you are doing is undermining your own child's experience. There is an old T-shirt I've seen around that ironically describes the relationship between coach and hockey parent: It reads "Of course I know more than the coach," and on the back it says "I'm a hockey parent."
Don't be a Stop Watch Parent: This isn't an exaggeration. I have seen parents in the stands with stop watches timing the amount of ice time their child received. Stop watch parents watch only their children, but never the game. They know how much ice their kid gets, but not how much anyone else gets. They get excited when their child scores, but couldn't care less when another one does. One of the great lessons of sport is how teamwork can make a difference. Teamwork among the parents is often as important as the team work amongst kids. One stop watch parent -- or similar squawkers -- can alter the chemistry of a minor hockey season.
Give The Referees A Break: OK, as a career big mouth, I should be the last guy preaching this to anybody but I start every hockey season hoping I'll change and each year I get a little bit smarter. If refereeing was that easy, anyone could do it. And most can't. But I can tell you this from experience: The more you carp, the more you yell, the less calls you get. Referees can hear you. They are, for the most part, trying their best. They make mistakes, just like coaches make mistakes, just like players make mistakes. Only we don't let them get away with any. Try and behave. Losing it in a rink can be embarrassing for your child, not to mention yourself.
Use The 24-Hour Rule: Even if your team doesn't have it, it should. The 24-hour rule works this way. If you have something to say to the coach, or they have something to say to you (that could be contentious) wait 24 hours after the event or the game before discussing it. By this time, you have better perspective, they have better perspective and a lot of arguments naturally are eliminated in the process. Hockey is an emotional game. It's best to let the emotions simmer before talking to the coach, adult to adult, preferably away from the rink.
Make sure to check out the weekly updates tab to see how our Lightning teams did the past weekend! Also I know at least one of the teams is posting notes under the teams game results so make sure to check out all of your teams pages!
I hope all is well. There are some updates that I need to pass along from our board meeting.
1. The rink has approached us regarding the behavior of the kids. The workers were approached by FMC after reviewing video. There is to be no more playing indoor hockey with sticks and balls at the rink. Also no more running around and horseplay. They're requesting that the kids are in their parents view and supervised. This is being passed along to all organizations that utilize the rink.
2. There's a defense clinic Monday December 22nd at 7pm. It's encouraged that all defenseman attend.
3. The next goalie clinic is January 19th at 7pm. We're asking for participation from all of our goalies.
4. Calendar raffles will be coming out shortly and it's required that each player sell 10 tickets at $10 each. Once again it's for the month of February and will be due back January 11th.
5. Christmas party is December 15th from 6:10 to 8pm. It's open to all family members but helmets required for anyone under 18. We are asking for canned good donation for the food bank/open pantry. There will be apparel for sale and new items available along with a Falcons basket raffle. If anyone would like to bring a snack to share it's more than welcome.
6. Reminder we have open ice available for independent games. Please utilize and just give our scheduler a weeks notice.
3- Contact opponents Coach/Scheduler and confirm they are available. 4- Contact Justin Parzychowski to schedule the Refs email@example.com 5- Contact Calli Phillips to get money (check) for the refs. firstname.lastname@example.org 6- Find a scorekeeper (Parent)
Also when scheduling these games make sure to make arraignments with the other team for ref fees. IE if its a home at home usually the home team pays for everything, if its only one game we pick up the ice fee the away team pays for the refs. Make sure this is discussed!
7. Remember if traveling out of state for a tournament that you obtain a travel permit.
8. There is now a section, like Kurt mentioned,
to add highlights of your games and team. Please email him directly.
9.. We're looking into doing a wine tasting in February. More info to come.
10. Please continue to send any feedback, positive or negative, to me so we can address them
Again the board wishes all teams good luck. Remember it's all about sportsmanship, team work, learning and most of all having fun.
As always if there are any questions please feel free to reach out to me.
We will be selling Lightningwear during the Learn to Skate Christmas Party on Saturday, December 13th & the Lightning Youth Hockey Christmas Party on Monday, December 15th. We have lots of items that would make great Christmas presents.
Also, if you have any used equipment that you would like to donate for our next Learn to Skaters, please feel free to drop it off in the black bin labeled “Pioneer Valley Hockey” in the lobby of Fitzpatrick Rink.
We are forming an evaluation committee and looking for volunteers. The committee will consist of 3 to 5 members and will be responsible for reviewing our evaluation policy, setting up our evaluations, getting evaluators, working with the scheduler, insuring the rules are followed during the evaluations and finalizing the results. Anyone interested can contact Roger Jablonski
The following dates have been set up for goalie clinics. October 27, November 17, December 1, January 19, and February 16. All clinics start at 7:00 P.M. and all goalies in the organization are encouraged to attend!