'Lessons From Behind The Glass' Video Series: Lesson #5

"Raise a 'good person' who likes to play hockey, not just a 'good hockey player' is one of my favourite lessons! Hockey coach, Kyle Allen (Kamloops) says in the video, "good people make good hockey players, an we try to find kids that have good values, a good work ethic and commitment. We have the ability to teach kids those skills. Sometimes those life ones and the mental skills are tougher ones to teach. If we can find kids who already have those, it's a big help."

When Brock started playing competitive hockey it became apparent that hockey started to take over our daily routines. One day as I was going over his hockey calendar, I was trying to figure out how my husband and I were going to manage his hockey schedule and still find time for all the other things we had going on in our home. That's when it hit me; I was putting all of my energy into coordinating hockey practices, game schedules and dry-land training. We were planning our budget and household bills around registration fees and upcoming tournaments.

We had reached a point where we spent more time discussing hockey in our home than we did school. We spent our time ensuring pre-game was ready an hour before games, skates were sharpened and that he made it to practice on time. I started to ask myself what exactly was he doing to help out with this? Without realizing it, we were on our way to raising a very "entitled" young man. This kid could put his hockey equipment on with his eyes closed, go into the butterfly effortlessly, play the puck and make a great glove save, but he didn't know how to do his own laundry or heat up pasta. I quickly realized that if we didn't make some changes we would end up with a young man who didn't understand that value of working hard off the ice. Unfortunately for Brock, it was time to make a change. After a lot of arguing he learned to make his own pre-game meal, he helped out with hockey fundraisers and learned to do his own laundry.

One of my favourite excerpts in the book is from lesson five (5):

"Hockey players seem to be put on a pedestal, especially in Canada. Make no mistake; I've been guilty of doing it myself. As parents you spend so much energy with your kids on this sport, and then one day you begin to see that they could potentially have some talent. You start to let them miss a class so they can sleep longer before the game, you don't make them do chores on game day and you are a little nicer to them when they score the winning goal in overtime. We've all one it, and the outcome is detrimental to our kids. If hockey is this important, what happens when it's over?

Kids need to learn a strong work ethic on and off the ice. There's nothing more dangerous than a gifted athlete with a lack of respect and a huge sense of entitlement. That combination has failure and embarrassment written all over it, for the player, the parents and the organization they play for. As parents we get so caught up in teaching them everything they need to know to be a good hockey player. If we simply taught them everything they need to know to be a good human being, the rest would take care of itself."


- Written by Allyson Tufts