10 things I wish I knew as a first-time hockey mom

10 things I wish I knew as a first-time hockey mom

1. It's a grind

Being a hockey mom is no easy feat. It’s a full-time job, and then some. If you’re new to the game, it can be even more daunting. I should know – I was a first-year hockey mom myself not too long ago.

From early morning practices to late-night games, it’s a grind. And, if you’re not careful, it can start to take a toll on your physical and mental health. That’s why I’ve put together this list of 10 things I wish I knew as a first-year hockey mom.

If you’re just getting started on this journey, I hope these tips will help you make it through the season with your sanity intact!

2. You will make friends... and enemies

Hockey is a game of high competition, and it’s only natural for rivalries to form between teams. As a first-year hockey mom, you will likely make some new friends and just as likely make some enemies - whether they are opposing parents or the coaches of other teams.

It’s important to remember to always take the high road and to show good sportsmanship. It’s also important to remember that you are there to support your child, not to get into bickering matches with other parents.

The world of hockey is often a small one, and you never know who you may run into down the line. If you keep this in mind, you’ll always remain on the good side of your newfound acquaintances.

3. Your kid is not the next Sidney Crosby

It’s very easy to get carried away and have unrealistic expectations of your child in hockey. While your child may be a star player in their own mind, it’s important to remember that not all kids are the next Sidney Crosby.

Your child may not always be the most talented. They may not always make the team, and they may not always be recognized by the coaches and their peers. But it’s important to remember that just because they’re not the most talented, it doesn’t make them any less valuable.

It’s important to remember that success in hockey, as with anything else, is earned. It’s earned with hard work and dedication and a willingness to put in the effort to learn and improve every day, regardless of the outcome.

It’s also important to remember that winning isn’t everything. Instead, focus on helping your child be the best possible version of themselves both on and off the ice. By setting realistic expectations and goals and focusing on their effort and enthusiasm, you can help your child have a successful hockey career.

4. Hockey tape is your new best friend

Being a hockey parent is much more than just watching your child play. Stock up on all the gear needed to keep your child safe and prepared for those unexpected changes in the weather.

Hockey tape is the number one item for any hockey parent. Whether it’s for their own stick blades or for their teammates, hockey tape offers protection and helps with grip and control.

5. Don't be afraid to ask for help

As a hockey parent, there can be a lot of things to learn. It is essential for your child’s safety, confidence, and development to know what you are doing. Whether it’s bringing the right equipment, or knowing where to go for the best supplies, to satisfying their nutritional needs, it is important for you to be informed and knowledgeable.

The most important thing for any hockey parent to know is to never be afraid to ask for advice or help. It's ok if you don’t have all the answers. Hockey can be a complicated and competitive sport with lots of little nuances.

When it comes to equipment and training, there are many knowledgeable people available to help. Reaching out to a parent of another player or to a local store selling hockey supplies can be a great place to start.

Overall, it is important to remember that having the right resources and knowledge is the key to your child’s success and safety in any sport, and hockey is no exception. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and to learn new things as you go. After all, being a hockey parent is a journey - one that you should enjoy!

6. Eat dinner as a family whenever you can

It can be difficult to remain connected to your family when your child is playing a sport like hockey. With all the travel, long practice sessions, and games, it is easy to become consumed by the sport and to lose time with family.

Be sure to set aside a special time, whether it's a few nights a week or even just one night a month, for your family to eat a meal together. It's important that the children learn table manners, etiquette, and proper conversation skills and practice them each night. Having family dinners is a great opportunity for your family to come together and offer each other support, love, and encouragement.

Eating together is a chance for your family to bond and become closer during a hectic period of your child’s hockey career. Being a hockey parent can be overwhelming with all of the responsibilities you have. Taking time for your family to relax and eat a meal together is essential in maintaining a connection and closeness while your child is involved in the sport. Be sure to make time for family dinners whenever possible.

7. Get to know the other parents

As a hockey mom, it's essential to get to know your child's coaches and the other parents in your child's hockey league. It's important to develop relationships with your child's coaches. It's very beneficial to introduce yourself to the team coach at the start of the season and make sure your child has a good relationship with the coach. It's also beneficial to get to know the other parents in your child's hockey league.

Parents are the biggest support system for each other. Developing relationships with other parents of your child’s team can give you an insight into how to best support your child and what strategies other hockey parents are using to raise their athletes.

Knowing the other parents in your child's league can also help create a fun and supportive atmosphere around your child's team. You can create fun events for the parents or even make road trips for away games more enjoyable for your child’s team.

Getting to know the other parents, your child’s coaches, and even the other players on the team can make your child’s hockey experience even more enjoyable. Showing your support for the team can make your child feel even more connected to their teammates.

8. Support all the players, not just your own

It's important to remember that everyone's experience hockey is unique and your support should extend to more than just your own child. Showing your support for all the players on your child’s team can help create a stronger team bond and can bring the team even closer together. Which is why it’s essential to support all the players, not just your own.

Showing up to games and being supportive of all the players, not just your own, teaches your child that the team comes first. Even when it’s not your child out on the ice, it’s important to always be positive and offer words of support for their teammates.

Making sure to thank all the coaches for their efforts and telling your child’s teammates how much you appreciate their hard work can help strengthen the team atmosphere your child’s team has. Every player on your child’s team deserves your support and should always be respected. Being a supportive hockey mom to all the players on your child’s team goes a long way.

9. Accept that your life will resolve around hockey - and learn to love it

Realizing that your life will revolve around hockey is an essential part of becoming a hockey mom. As soon as your child puts on their skates and takes to the ice, your life will change. You will be rushing to practices, checking game schedules, preparing meals to aid your child's body, and sacrificing your weekends for tournaments and games.

Even in the off-season, the demands for your time will remain. But there are ways to make it more enjoyable. Bond with your child on the experiences that come along with hockey.

Show up to games and practices early and sit with the other families. Find new creative tactics to help stretch your budget and carefully plan out the coming season for a successful year. Make an effort to get to know the other players on the team and to support them as much as your own child.

Most of all, show your child how enjoyable hockey can be. Let hockey bring you closer as a family and turn it into a positive experience. Learning to love the moments spent in the rink, on the bus, and in the hotel with your team can turn those seemingly long months into meaningful memories.

10. Embrace the chaos and enjoy the ride!

Not all hockey parents should expect a smooth ride every season. Every sport has its chaotic moments, and hockey season is often full of highs and lows.

As a hockey mom, it is important to accept the chaotic moments and embrace the days where plans change, the unexpected occurs, and your life is turned upside down. It's all part of the experience!

Try to make the most of these chaotic moments. Look for the silver lining, the moments of joy and fun, the unexpected opportunities that reveal themselves.

Learn to roll with the changes and to take each moment as a chance to think and refocus on the bigger goal. Enjoy the ride, it has its moments of challenge and of reward, but it can also be a fun and exciting experience.

Do you agree with the above? Do you have anything to add - I want to hear from you, add any thoughts via a comment. - Kristina


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