Try these tips to be a better hockey parent, News (Lambton Shores Minor Hockey)

PrintNews Article
Click to view full-size image
Try these tips to be a better hockey parent
Submitted By Todd Rannie on Tue 09 01, 15
Summer is winding down and the sounds of skates, sticks and pucks are starting to fill local arenas as players of all ages begin practising for the upcoming hockey season.

Parents who want the best for their children will spend hours worrying about try-outs, coaching, equipment, off-ice training, and schedules.


Current thinking, however, suggests the best thing parents can do for their young athletes is re-examine their own attitude (or approach) to sport.

As a parent, you want the best for your child, but have you considered that your efforts might actually set them back?

It’s no secret that athletes who are highly motivated by an internal desire to do well tend to have better careers than athletes whose main motivation is a parent pushing them. Sport psychology has shown that athletes with intrinsic motivation for their sport demonstrate more persistence which makes them more willing to put in the training required for long-term success, compared to athletes with extrinsic motivations.

Recently, researchers have begun to identify ways in which parents can help improve their child’s intrinsic motivation. It turns out that being the pushy hockey parent is not the best way to motivate a young athlete.

The first thing you can do as a parent is be positive about your child’s sport experience. Studies have found that children have the tendency to take on their parents’ attitudes.

So if you disagree with the referee over what you think is a bad call, insult other players, or talk poorly about your child’s coach, well, guess what? Your kid is going to see that and think it’s OK, which will undermine the positive experiences your child can draw from hockey.

It’s those positive experiences that lead to intrinsic motivation, which helps athletes of all ages and skill work through the challenges they face in sport.

Another thing you can do is let your child make decisions. Extensive research has found that athletes who are given opportunities to make choices and provide feedback about their training experiences are more motivated than their peers.

This does not need to happen on the ice. Simply letting them decide how much extra training they do, having them choose how early they arrive to the rink before a game and asking them to interpret how they felt their practice or game went can improve their motivation quality.

Finally, another important thing you can do is help your child focus on bettering themselves and not beating the other kids. This is called “task-involvement” in sports psychology.

When someone is task-involved, they are focused on improving their skills, mastering their technique and are invested in the process, instead of focused on results or beating others. Research has shown that this kind of focus promotes the good, intrinsic motivation that is critical for long-term success.

It’s also easy to help your young athlete develop this skill. When you are giving your child feedback about their game or practice, instead of focusing on the goals they scored, or not, focus instead on the quality of their passing, their use of space, their ability to read the game and other players, and their speed and skating quality.

To incorporate all three of these tips into one strategy, simply ask your kid about their practices and games and have them tell you the good and the bad. Guide them to talking about skills if they’re too focused on scoring goals.

As a parent, by incorporating these subtle changes to your behaviour, you can help promote a positive experience for your athlete, which will help foster intrinsic motivation and lead to long-term commitment and success in their sport.

Meredith Rocchi is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa where she studies sport motivation, with a focus on understanding what impacts coaches’ and athletes’ motivation. Outside of her research, she is a skating coach and is actively involved in many of Ottawa’s local sport communities.


This article has been viewed 1671 times.
News ArchiveOther Recent Articles
  • 25
    Apr
    Organization
    Awards Banquet: Friday, April 29th Annual General Meeting: Monday, May 2nd Early Bird Registration is due May 4th Coach Applications are due May 4th Open the article to find more information and important links!!! 
  • 24
    Apr
    Organization
    Many Scott Jones summer camps are filling up fast and if you are interested in developing your hockey skills this summer, you will find information and links below...
  • 11
    Apr
    Organization
    Your U11 Rep team are OMHA Champs!!!  Click here and here to see an OMHA-produced video of Preds highlights.  Click here to see a feature from CTV News Barrie that includes your Preds! What a weekend in Barrie for the U11 Rep Preds to cap off an ...
  • 05
    Apr
    Organization
    The Silverstick scholarship application is open to all 3rd year U18 players who are currently enrolled in LSMHA. Below you will find the application form for this scholarship. The application form details the application requirements, important ...
  • 03
    Apr
    Organization
    Your U13 LL Red team are champs in South Huron!  The squad had a weekend of great hockey going undefeated in the round robin.  They faced Mitchell in the Semi-finals, and then squared off against Ilderton in the Finals.  The Preds didn’t allow a ...
  • 28
    Mar
    Organization
    Attention Lambton Shores Coaches: Coaching applications for the 2022 - 2023 hockey season are now being accepted for all age groups at the Rep and local League levels. Please submit your application by May 4th, 2022. Local league coaching ...
  • 28
    Mar
    Organization
    Hello Preds Families! It seems strange that our season isn't over yet for all of our players and we are discussing next years registration.
  • 24
    Mar
    Organization
    Here are the winners from our final Draw week: March 13 - Aaorn Shawnoo March 14 - Heather George March 15 - Sue Lewis March 16 - Mandy Wright March 17 - John Kjono March 18 - Lorna Nieuwenhuizen Congrats to all winners!  Click to see all ...
Printed from lambtonshoresminorhockey.ca on Friday, May 20, 2022 at 8:50 PM