4 Ways to Be a Saner Goalie Parent
No truer sentiment has been uttered in the world of hockey and it applies to goalie parents too. What other position on the team carries that kind of pressure, and visibility. Sometimes though crazy just DOESN'T need to be part of the job description.
How can you achieve a more zen state of mind with all that nuttiness floating around the net? Here are few suggestions from a seven year veteran:
Don't, under any circumstances, stand behind your goalie's net.
I've been there, I've done it. It is a never a good idea unless you want more gray hair, a nervous tick and nausea. Trust me they don't want you behind the net either analyzing every move they make either. Go make friends with the other parents at center ice, you'll thank me.
Keep those post-game post mortems to a maximum of ten minutes.
It isn't healthy to keep rehashing things that would've, could've and should've been. It'll make you both nuts. No more than ten minutes...set a timer if you must!
Ignore your inner statistician.
I know parents who check their kid's stats after EVERY game. And tournaments? They huddle around the results sheet on the wall like bees around a beehive. Calculating goal differentials, devising strategy on who needs to win or lose what for their team to be in the playoffs or championship game. And then? They tell their goalie about it..talk about pressure! Balancing my bank account after paying hockey fees and paying for equipment is all the math I need to do in a season.
Other Parents Are Not Your Enemy
It's easy to fall in to the mindset that all parents are judging your goalie with every bad goal or loss but it just isn't so. Well, at least not all of them. So, like I said earlier, go make some friends! Sit with them at center ice, and root for the whole team. It will take your mind (every so slightly) off what is happening in the net. The bonus is that once they know you better it will be harder for them to smack talk when things don't go your goalie's way. Hockey parents can be really awesome, let them prove it!
It's not easy to be the parent of the most visible member of the team but it carries a great honor and privilege. And if none of my tips work, you can always just embrace the crazy and start muttering under your breath during every game.
I've been there and still do that.