Info for Parents (Athens Youth Hockey Association | Athens Ohio | Bird Arena)

PrintInfo for Parents


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All parents share in the responsibility. We, as program administrators can’t do it alone. Remember, hockey parents make the difference!

In The Stands

Parents can take the fun out of hockey by continually yelling or screaming from the stands. Parents should enjoy the game and applaud the efforts made by all participants. The stands are not a place from which parents should try to personally coach their kids or critique the activity on the ice. Kids often mirror the actions of their parents; if they see mom or dad losing their cool or shouting from the stands, they’ll almost certainly do the same from the ice.

Car and Home

Some parents not only spoil the fun for their kids at the ice rink, but also in the car, believing this is the perfect place for instruction and critique. Parents should try to keep things in perspective. There’s more to life than hockey, and the car and home are not places to coach. Parents are responsible for supporting and respecting the coach’s decisions and abilities. It is unfair to put children in a position of having to decide who to listen to – their parents or the coach.

At Practice

Parents should remember that if a child wants to improve, they have to practice – not just play games or scrimmages. Even if their child is not the “star” of the team, practice stresses the importance of teamwork, establishing goals, discipline and learning to control your emotions. All are important lessons children can use both in and away from sports.

At The Rink

Hockey parents can help create a fun and beneficial environment by making certain their children come ready to play with a positive attitude and all necessary equipment. Parents should stress that fair play and sportsmanship are more important than winning the game.

Support Your Child

There are many benefits that are derived from playing youth hockey. Boys and girls learn good sportsmanship and self-discipline. They learn to work together, how to sacrifice for the good of the team, how to enjoy winning and how to handle defeat. In the process, they also learn important lessons about physical fitness and personal health. The degree to which your child benefits from his or her hockey experience is as much your responsibility as it is theirs. In order for your child to get the most out of a youth hockey program, it is important for you to

 show support and offer encouragement while maintaining a genuine interest in the rest of the team.

Always Be Positive

Parents serve as role models for their children, who often look to adults for advice, direction, and approval. Never lose sight of the fact that you are their role model, and strive to be a positive example of accepted behavior. As a parent, one of the most important things you can do is show good sportsmanship at all times to coaches, referees, program administrators, opponents, and teammates.


It is your children that are playing hockey… not you or your spouse. It is important to allow them to establish their own goals and play the game for themselves. Be careful not to impose your own standards as being more important than the program objectives or team goals.

Let The Coaches Coach

Avoid placing an exaggerate emphasis on winning. Winning is always the result of teamwork, positive attitudes, and proper emphasis on skill development. A recent survey indicated that 72% of children would rather play for a “losing” team than ride the bench for a winner. The most important aspect of your child’s youth hockey experience is for them to have fun while developing physical and emotional skills that will serve them in life. A healthy, risk-free environment that emphasizes the importance of fair play, sportsmanship, discipline, teamwork, and most importantly, fun will be invaluable for your child as he or she continues to develop a positive self image.

Positive Reinforcement

The best way to help children achieve goals and reduce their natural fear of failure is through positive reinforcement. After all, no one likes to make mistakes…even parents. When your child makes a mistake…that’s a certainty…keep in mind that mistakes are integral part of the overall learning process. Strive to be supportive and point out the things they do well. They will soon develop the confidence they need to succeed versus the fear of failure.



On the morning of his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame

I have said and been told that my single greatest contribution to the game was that I succeeded even when I was told I was too small, not quite fast enough, and lacked the physical strength to last in this league…

Honestly, my greatest contribution is yet to come. If I can somehow emphasize to every player and parent that this is one of the greatest games on this earth if you truly love and respect the game yourself. If you don’t have fun playing a game, why do it. I cherish the fact that my first coach repeated the same question to me all of my life…son; did you do your best and have fun today?

Players and parents need to cherish the moments they share together. Pull the good things from those experiences and, like I do on mornings like this, reflect on those memories. That is

 what gives me the confirmation that I have truly been blessed. I scored over 800 goals and every one of them was a direct result of the positive experiences I enjoyed with someone I played side by side with or was coached by…they all had a hand in this moment.

I truly reached this level because I was able to stay positive and focused. I concentrated on skill development my entire life and had people around me who taught me to ignore those who were only interested in tearing me down.

There are many people in my Hall of fame…my parents, the fans, my teammates and those I played against. Wayne Gretzky is a small piece of all of them.

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Printed from on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 5:01 AM