Get Your Head in the Game – Parents

by Jan 25, 2020Sports

I deal with athletes in the hockey world on a regular basis, providing them with tools and tips to help them create a more enjoyable experience and reap better results.

Much of what we work together on includes creating new mental habits, how to better deal with a lack of confidence and the inability to focus or concentrate.

Many utilize my services because they theoretically get it…they’re great practice players and have incredible knowledge of the game, however tend to crack or fold under the pressures that the competition of the game provides.

Something creeps into their mind and takes over, resulting in failures or poor decisions.

I call these “limiting beliefs” and they are at the heart of almost every poor mental decision that an athlete makes.

What I find interesting is that many of the athlete issues I deal with stem directly from the “limiting beliefs” their parents have provided them.

Yes, sorry folks…but you may be that parent.

I recognize this parent, because I used to be one myself.

I pushed my son in hockey because I recognized ability in him and didn’t want to see him miss an opportunity like I had. When I was younger I turned down a scholarship and an opportunity to play pro because I was afraid to leave home…something I regretted for a great deal of my life.

So, when my son quit rep hockey, I was crushed…I tried my best to hide it but it took me down hard.

What I realized years later, was that I was pushing my son, not for the experience he would have, but instead for the experience I didn’t have.

Even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time, it was more about me and not my son.

I see and hear of so many situations surrounding unruly parents in hockey (and other sports as well) and really want to encourage parents to ask themselves who their child is playing for.

Are you waking your rep player up to get to early morning practice? Or is your child waking you up?

As a 10 year-old, I used to sleep with my skates on and was half dressed at my dad’s bedside waiting for his alarm to go off…yet found myself dragging my son out of bed, encouraging him to get excited at 6:00 AM for a 6:30 practice…car already warmed up in the driveway with my coffee in the cup holder.

Now, I’m not saying yank your kid out of hockey if he or she doesn’t eat, sleep and breathe the game, however I am suggesting, as parents, not to take it so seriously.

Think about your actions, and understand that those actions speak volumes, not just to others watching, but most importantly, to your own kids.

If you yell and scream, lose your sh#t in the stands and even bad mouth other players, refs, coaches or opponents, understand that, when your kid does it and gets kicked out of a game or off a team, it came directly from you. (Hey coaches…same goes for you).

Fact: On average, 1 to 2 players born each year (in Ontario) will actually have a career in the NHL.

Not one of them sleeps through an opportunity to be on the ice.

Enjoy the game, it can teach our kids so many amazing lessons in life; how to be part of a team, sportsmanship, camaraderie, respect and so much more.

Let them have fun and stop making it about you.

Get Your Head In The Game.

Mike White