Everyone knows someone who has played hockey; it is part of being Canadian. Thousands of children, teens, adults, and seniors lace up their skates each year and play the game. Some have the hopes of going pro and some are just in it for the fun, but one universal factor is that their parents are there every step of the way.
Hockey parents have been known to dedicate countless hours to the sport, but sometimes their involvement can become too much. Joe Gowers is the head trainer for the London Nationals Junior Hockey Team and says that parental involvement varies based on the age of the players.
“The younger the kids are, the more their parents feel the need to over-involve themselves. I’ll see parents screaming from the stands trying to coach their kids, and they’re only playing house league” – Joe Gowers
Ryan McAllister is a player on the Nationals and says that he has seen this first hand and it can negatively affect the players. “I have a lot of first-hand experience with parents screaming at the refs, coaches, and even other players from opposing teams. It just kind of ruins the environment for the players and I don’t think it should be a part of hockey.” McAllister says that he was fortunate enough to have supportive parents who steered clear from this type of behavior.
“My parents always supported me, they kept me playing hockey even when I wasn’t very good. They basically made me the player I am today.” -Ryan McAllister
Sean Willis has a child who plays for the Elgin Middlesex Chiefs, he says that hockey parents are often labeled with a bad reputation and their good contributions go overlooked. He says that the bad instances we hear about are the ones that are popularized by social media, and that is why people have formed these ideas about hockey parents. “If people saw all the time and the dedication we put towards this sport for our kids, they would understand we contribute more than just negative things.”
It seems that there are circulating opinions on the reputation hockey parents have. Some coaches have admitted that having parents try to become too involved can make their jobs harder. Some players value their parent’s dedication and say they wouldn’t be in hockey without their push. Some parents think that they do not get enough credit where credit is due. There is no denying that hockey parents are one of the most dedicated kind, but it is safe to say that some of them wish they could jump on the ice themselves.