Okay, I admit it. I’ve never done the whole “hockey season” thing. My daughter was more into the arts – singing, playing instruments, dancing. We did try figure skating at one point but we gave that up fairly quickly (it’s a LONG story but let’s just say it’s one I look back on beaming with pride at seeing the strength of character my daughter showed in a difficult situation). I have, however, seen other parents dealing with the challenges of hockey season and whew! There’s not denying that being a hockey parent is a busy – and rewarding – job.
With any sport, there is a certain degree of planning and preparation needed. Here are some ways to prepare for hockey season’s worst, to ensure it’s the best:
1) Develop a routine: Because the hockey season is so busy, establishing a scheduled routine is key. This is so true of any sports or other extracurricular activities! This includes making time for homework between school and practice, ensuring the hockey bag is packed ahead of time and coordinating carpool schedules. Pro tip: create a check-list for your child to follow so they can learn to manage their own time and ensure they’re well prepared to hit the ice.
2) Banish smelly gear: It’s always surprising how such a big smell can come from a small kid! Oh man, when I was a teacher, the hockey kids would often come into the classroom after an early morning practice, toting their bags with them and those things smelled rank! Of course, hockey equipment is bound to collect sweat when your kid is skating their heart off on the ice so make sure you stop odors before they start. First, air out all equipment after each use. Do not – I repeat, do not – leave everything in a zipped up hockey bag! Second, regularly wash items that can be machine washed. Pro tip: Use a detergent that’s up to the challenge such as OxiCleanTM HD Liquid Laundry Detergent and Arm & HammerTM Plus OxiCleanTM Cold Water Power Paks – they are my go-to favourites!
3) Maintain a positive attitude: The number one goal (pun intended!) for your child during hockey season should be to have fun. Whether it’s a “win” or “lose” in the end, each game teaches your child how to work as a team and participate in friendly competition. These important life values are the true prize at the end of the season! Pro tip: You are an important role model for your child. Demonstrate good sportsmanship by cheering on all team members, emphasizing their attempts most of all. Treat the other team with kindness and respect.
4) Get to know your fellow hockey parents: Creating a network of other parents can add a fun social element to the experience for you. Plus, it’s a great way to stay connected and easily be able to coordinate carpools and call-in a last minute favour if you can’t make a practice. Pro tip: Keep a list of names and phone numbers in your contacts on your phone where they will be handy even on the fly!
5) Make some memories: Your before hockey advice and after hockey breakfast runs are the stuff memories are made of. Pro Tip: Create a pre or post hockey tradition for you and your son or daughter to share!
What are your tips for surviving the hockey season?
To help ensure you’re ready, we’re giving away some great hockey season essentials for at home and on the road games courtesy of Church and Dwight:
OxiCleanTM HD Liquid Laundry Detergent
Arm & HammerTM Plus OxiCleanTM Cold Water Power Paks
Arm & HammerTM Baking Soda
Arm & HammerTM SpinbrushTM battery powered toothbrush The Ultimate Spider-Man TM
OrajelTM Spider-ManTM Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste
Total Value: Approx. $35
Terms and conditions: Void where prohibited. Open to Canadian residents only. Quebec excluded. Must answer skill testing question to claim prize. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Please ensure that firstname.lastname@example.org is white flagged so the email doesn’t end up in your spam folder.