Understanding the Heart and Mind of a Hockey Mom: My Son Plays Defence

Understanding the Heart and Mind of a Hockey Mom: My Son Plays Defence

For this month’s article I had the joy of interviewing a very passionate hockey Mom. Her son has played the position of defence from day one. As we started the conversation, I could hear the affection she had for him in her voice. It was the one and only interview I did with her son listening in the background. I asked what she loved the most about watching hockey.  I was surprised by her answer when she said, “I love seeing a defensemen score, don’t get me wrong, I like when my son scores the most, but one of my favourite moments in the game is when a defensemen scores.”

I went on to ask her what she found stressful about watching her son play.  She said, “As a defenseman I feel his mistakes are magnified. If my son’s out at the end of the game and it’s close, I worry he’ll be the one who makes the mistake that cost the game.  I can honestly say that during those moments there’s times I’d rather see him on the bench, but then being on the bench isn’t good either. Quite honestly, the whole thing is stressful!” I smiled to myself as she answered this question and I could hear her son groaning at her answer in the background.  I had to wonder if all Moms feel this way. I think we all have that love hate relationship with the sport.  That need to see our young players succeed, yet we also feel the need to protect our kids from failure, when in fact failure is one of their greatest teachers.

I asked her if she had a story, a favourite game or moment she wanted to share.  At first she told me that she loved the friends they’d met, she never gets sick of walking into the arena and seeing the community of friends there, and she loves knowing her son has made great friends through the game.  She then told me a story, she said, “My son had been cut from his hometown team. It was a team that all of his friends played on and it was a tough blow.  He ended up making a team of the same level in a city a few miles away. As excited as we were that he could keep playing at that level, we knew he’d have to face the team that cut him.  It seemed that game after game we played them we’d lose. Finally, after four years we finally beat them!  It was so satisfying to see the smile on his face after witnessing the disappointment years earlier when they’d cut him.” I think every hockey Mom has a story of when their young player has been cut and how somehow we want retribution for that moment.  I could hear her son giggling in the background listening to his Mom tell the story as he could hear the Mama Bear in her voice.  So I thought it was time to ask him a question, “What advice would you give your Mom about how to be a good defensemen’s Mom?” and he said…

“Be patient! Be patient with how I play and be patient with the process.  I’ll do my best and my best will get me where I belong.” I thought this was perfect advice for hockey Moms regardless of what position our kids play. So in honour of his great advice and in honour of all the “D” players out there, this is for you:

“Playing Defense – To completely shut down your opponent so they go home and cry to their Mama” - Author Unknown

- 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.