Although around here we call them "hockey parents", they could be any parent with children involved in a competitive sport. Speaking from experiences gained from my own short-lived hockey career, I can tell you what I remember from way back in the season of 85/86 when I started playing. When first starting, I was not what you would call a strong skater. I remember my coach, Gary, he was a really nice man. Even though he got stuck with one of the worst players in the league, coach Gary never once said anything negative about my performance. That was twenty-one years ago and I still remember him to this day. As my skating improved, there was the time he praised me for getting back so quickly to defend even though my feet were going faster than my body and I fell down -he didn't see it that way. All he saw was a kid that was really trying hard and he pointed that out to me. I also remember the time I didn't have a ride -not until coach Gary found out. He went out of his way on that Saturday morning to personally take me to the game and back. That made me feel important; I was a somebody, I was driving with the big guy. During that drive, we started talking. The topic of our Assistant Coach came up. He was quite fond of foaming at the mouth while YELLING and swearing at the kids. Frankly, the man scared me, and if it weren't for Coach Gary, I would have quit the game. There were also a couple of actively involved parents -too involved and way too emotional. They also liked to yell and swear as they towered over their kids, living vicariously through them. An approach that intimidated other kids on the team. They also scared me, added nothing to the learning experience and they took the fun away every time they showed their faces. Everything I can remember about them amounts to a negative -a lesson in how NOT to be a role model. Having started out barely able to skate backwards, I wound up finished the year playing defense and earned the Most Improved Player award. I had improved my skills immensely, and most importantly, I had fun -Coach Gary can take all the credit for that. The only ones that miss the goal and loose the game are the adults that don't realize how powerful their influence is on young kids --It's just a game folks, and if it's not fun, why bother?


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