Understanding the Heart and Mind of a Hockey Mom: My Daughter Plays Forward

Understanding the Heart and Mind of a Hockey Mom: My Daughter Plays Forward

This month’s article is about getting behind the heart and mind of a Mother whose daughter plays forward.  This interview was so much fun to do.  This Mom truly saw the value of team and friendships and helped her daughter foster them. I asked her what her favourite thing about watching her daughter play was and she said, “I love the sport of hockey, I love watching hockey and then I was blessed to have a child that plays the sport. Whether she has a good game or bad game, I just love watching her play.”

I asked her to share her thoughts on what people don’t understand about the position. She said, “When you play the position of forward so much of the game is about speed. My daughter was a good forward, but she wasn’t the fastest.  She was great at reading plays, but few coaches recognized the value in that and concentrated on speed only.” I asked what the most stressful part of playing the position of forward is and she said, “There is so much stress because you are supposed to go back and help defense, but you might miss the opportunity to score.  There is a lot of mind work that goes along with the position.  You must be in all places at once.”

As we talked some more, it was clear that the stressors of the game for this Mom were much more about ensuring that her daughter fostered good relationships.  She wanted to ensure that all of the girls had a good experience and that they walked away with a group of friends that they’d know for the rest of their lives.  I commented that sometimes it’s difficult to get a team to mesh and she said that a good scavenger hunt can fix anything.  She and her husband had a farm outside of the city, so she invited her daughters team for a team building exercise at the farm.  She said she hung their jerseys on the line so that as they pulled up, the girls could find their name and number blowing in the breeze.  She then had them go on a scavenger hunt to catch frogs and spend the day doing activities that had nothing to do with hockey.  She said she would also bring more than enough food to tournaments so that the girls always ended up in her room.  She thought it was a great way to do a head count and to ensure nobody was left out. She said, “At the end of the day I wanted the team to know that they all had each other’s backs as teammates and for every day going forward.

I asked her about her favourite hockey moment with her daughter.  She told me a story of when her daughter was playing for provincials in an old barn near her hometown.  In the display case at this arena hung her daughters two grandfather’s jerseys that the community had retired in a ceremony years before.  These two men were well known and had played together for years.  They had passed away within a year of each other.  Her daughter had never got the opportunity to meet them and she always felt they would have loved watching her play.  As the game was coming to an end, they were tied until her daughter got the puck to the net and scored to win the game, advancing them to provincials.  She said it was one of the most exciting moments she can remember. The most special part of the whole day was that she felt like her daughters two grandfathers were cheering her on from the stands somehow. The hockey Gods found a way for them to see her play.

As we ended the interview, I asked how she could have been a better hockey Mom.  I, personally, didn’t think she had any areas to improve on however, she said something I’ll never forget. She said, “Her disappointments affected me more than they did her.  I don’t know how I would have improved on that because its just how it felt.  I wish I could have guarded my heart more, so it wasn’t so hard.”  Isn’t that what we all battle as parents?  Whether it be hockey, dance, school, or just life, we love our kids so much that being a Mama Bear takes over and guarding our heart becomes our greatest challenge yet loving our kids that much is our greatest gift!

 - Written by Allyson Tufts; Author, Speaker and Passionate Hockey Mom


This article is the property of Allyson Tufts and is not to be used without her permission.