Parents of Athletes - Things to Consider (Kitchener Minor Hockey)

PrintParents of Athletes - Things to Consider


  • Make sure that win or lose your child knows you love them. Let them know that you appreciate their effort and that you will not be disappointed in them if they fail.  Be the person in his/her life he/she can always look to for support.  Strong effort leads to success. 
  • Try to be completely honest with yourself about your child’s athletic capability, competitive attitude, sportsmanship and skill level,
  • Be helpful, but do not coach your son/daughter on the way to the game or at the breakfast table.  Think how tough it must be on them to be continually inundated with advice, pep talks and criticism.
  • Teach your child to enjoy the thrill of competition, be “out there trying” to constantly work to improve their skills, take the physical bumps and come back for more.  Don’t tell them that winning doesn’t count because it does and they know it.  Instead, help them to develop a healthy competitive attitude, a “feel” for competing, for trying hard, for having a good time.  We can all learn from wins and losses.  Nobody always wins and losing doesn’t mean you don’t improve.
  • Try not to live your life through your child.  You have lost as well as won, you’ve been frightened, you’ve backed off at times, you’ve been the villain.  Do not expect any better of them. Sure they’re an extension of you, but do not assume they feel the same way you did, wants the same things, or has the same attitudes.  Do not push them in the direction that will give YOU the most satisfaction.
  • Don’t compete with their coach.  A coach may become a hero to them for a while, someone who can do no wrong, and you may find that hard to take.  Or they may become disenchanted with the coach.  Do not side with them against their coach.  Talk to them about the importance of learning how to handle problems and how to react to criticism as well as compliments.   Try to help them understand the necessity for discipline, rules and regulations.
  • Don’t compare your son/daughter with the other players on their team.  If they tend to resent the treatment they get from the coach, if they are jealous of the approval other players get, try to be honest with them.  Please do not lie to them about their capabilities as a player.  If you are overly protective, you will perpetuate the problem.
  • Get to know your child’s coach.

  • Remember that children tend to exaggerate when they are praised or criticized.  Temper your reactions for exaggerating, but don’t overreact to the stories they tell you.
  • Teach your son/daughter the meaning of courage.  Some of us can climb mountains but are frightened to fight without fear but turn into jelly at the sight of a bee.  Everyone is frightened by something.  Courage is not the absence of fear.  Courage is learning to perform despite fear. Courage is not getting rid of fear