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 1860 times.
News ArchiveOther Recent Articles
  • 01
    Oct
    Organization
    Hello Preds Families, OMHA has mandated that all profiles within the HCR be completed in its entirety.
  • 29
    Sep
    Organization
    LSMHA is seeking AE and LL coaches at the U11 and U13 levels.  If you are interested, please email Greg at [email protected] Thanks for helping out with these teams! Go Preds!
  • 29
    Sep
    Organization
    Are you looking for a fun way to be active while giving back to the awesome game of hockey?  Please consider becoming a ref!  If you are 18+ and interested in refereeing hockey, contact Ryan at [email protected] or 519-466-9053.  There is ...
  • 17
    Sep
    Organization
    Players from the U9 age group are invited to ride the LSMHA Float at the Forest Fall Fair on Saturday, Sept. 24th!  If you are interested, players (and a parent) are asked to meet at the old arena parking lot at 11:20am to be ready for the start ...
  • 16
    Sep
    Organization
    Hello Preds Families
  • 12
    Sep
    Organization
    It's great to see all the Preds getting started with their skills sessions. TRYOUT REMINDER - Don't forget to bring a rep fee cheque for $75 if your player is attending a tryout for a REP team.  Your cheque will be cashed only if your player ...
  • 12
    Sep
    Organization
    Todd Bidner will be hosting hockey clinics on Sept. 16 and Oct. 7 at the Shores Arena in Forest.   Cost is $25 per player.  For all registrations, PLEASE email [email protected] with player(s) name, age group, date(s) and location.  For more ...
  • 09
    Sep
    Organization
    All LSMHA registered goalies are welcome and encourged to come out to our Goalie Clinics hosted by Paul Burgess.  They are taking place on Sept. 10th, 17th, 22nd.  For more information...
Printed from lambtonshoresminorhockey.ca on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 8:20 PM