The on-going list of Unspoken Rules of Motherhood pertaining to The Sports. These are things I have learned, noticed or have been told. Some are serious, some are just for fun – you be the judge! Check back regularly to see what I’ve added.
*Note 1: this list does not only pertain to minor hockey, it pertains to all minor sports. Minor hockey just happens to be the one I can’t stand the most.
*Note 2: If you don’t like this post, you’re more than welcome to not read it.
#1: Thou shall bring snack when it’s your turn. Don’t be the parent that forgets.
#2: Thou shall be on time. I know, we all run late once in a while, heck I do too. But don’t let your kid be the one who is late every single time. It’s disrespectful to the coaches who are volunteering their time.
#3: Thou shall keep mouth shut. Seriously. You’ll regret it if you stand up for yourself. Or even your own kid for that matter. If you can’t keep your mouth shut then don’t get involved with minor sports because minor sports associations SUCK!
#4: Thou shall remember the water bottle. I have a hard time with this one myself! I always forget the water bottle. I get it filled and stick it in the fridge ahead of time so it’s cold and then end up forgetting it in the hustle of getting three kids out the door on time.
#5: Thou shall make sure child has all equipment needed. It’s not that you’re a bad parent if you don’t, but it’s not a great start to any season if you don’t have it all.
#6: Thou shall sit in the stands. You may hate the arena, the ball diamond, the soccer field, etc. But your kid loves it (I hope), and you need to be supportive. I know how hard it can be sometimes because I can’t stand being in the arena, but I love watching my kids do what they love!
#7: Thou shall cheer on the whole team. Take the time to learn all of the players’ names. Don’t be the parent that only cheers on your own kid, it’s just mean.
#8: Thou shall make sure equipment and uniform is clean. Don’t let your kid be the smelly one or the dirty one. It’s also poor sportsmanship and disrespectful to your team if you leave that ketchup stain on your kid’s jersey.
#9: Thou shall use odour eliminator. Again, don’t let your kid be the smelly one! Not only could they get teased by other players (and most definitely parents because the parents are worse than the players), but your vehicle and home are going to start to stink too!
#10: Thou shall make sure long hair is tied back. It’s dangerous, this is sports, not a fashion statement.
#11: Thou shall use garbage cans and recycling bins. Don’t trash the arena, diamond or field. Maintenance workers don’t always have the time to clean up before the next game and they shouldn’t have to clean up your garbage!
#12: Thou shall not coach from the stands. Whether you’re a pro or just a know-it-all, don’t coach from the stands. If you wanted to coach then you should have volunteered.
#13: Thou shall never make your child feel as though they’re not good enough. If they hate the sport, let them quit. If they love and are trying their best, just watch. Sports are supposed to be FUN!
#14: Thou shall never scream at children in the dressing rooms. The amount of times I’ve watched and/or heard parents or coaches yelling or screaming at children is disgusting. It’s supposed to be FUN! So what if the team lost a game?! So what if they lose EVERY game?! As long as they’re having fun, that’s all that matters. RIGHT?!
#15: Thou shall not coach or be part of the association if you are not up for the challenge. I know, you’re a volunteer. Big whoop. I’ve done it for over four years. Do your homework and do the job you volunteered for. Quit complaining about “I’m just a volunteer”.
#16: If you decide to coach – Thou shall not quit or be miserable. You jumped and made the decision. It’s one season, see it through. Don’t let the kids down and don’t let the kids feel like you don’t want to be there. They’ll mirror YOUR actions and emotions.
#17: Thou shall never throw things across rooms. Clipboards, equipment, clothing, none of it should be tossed or thrown across the dressing room, dugout, or parking lot. Grow up. Suck it up. Move on.
#18: Thou shall not bench players due to not winning. It doesn’t matter if that kid is the worst player on the team, if they’re at the game, they deserve to play. Instead, bench players for not being TEAM players. Everyone paid the same amount to PLAY on the team!
#19: Thou shall remember it’s JUST A GAME and THESE ARE KIDS. Bite your tongue, shove your fist in your mouth, don’t look, do whatever it takes to NOT be the parent or coach yelling or having a fit about not winning. IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE FUN.
#20: Thou shall not be a sore loser. Yes, EVERYONE wants to win every game. But it’s not going to happen. Your team is going to lose once in a while, shake hands – kindly – and practice for the next one.
#21: Thou shall go to practice too, not just the game. Don’t let your kid miss every practice. You signed up for the sport which means you took responsibility for getting your kid there. Plus, your kid is never going to develop better skills if they never go to practice.
#22: Thou shall teach your child to show respect to the coach. Fun fact, I couldn’t stand one of our past coaches. Not one bit. But you know what? When my kid goofed off and missed his turn due to goofing off, I made him apologize to the coach for wasting his time and promise to pay attention from then on. My kid also gets a firm talking to before every practice and game about showing his respect. Why? You may not care for the person coaching your kid’s team but that person stepped up to do it, you didn’t (or couldn’t). Show your child how to be a decent human being no matter what feelings you have.
#23: Thou shall show the referees respect. Most of the time, they’re just kids trying to make a few bucks. Or they’re adults volunteering their time. Don’t yell at them, don’t undermine their calls, don’t call them names, and DO NOT EVER show violence towards them.
#24: Thou shall respect the rules of the arena, field, courts, diamond, etc. Don’t take the nets after hours, don’t let your kids run all over the place acting like fools, use the trash cans, flush the toilet, be a decent human being.
#25: Thou shall not register if the family will be away majority of the season. Not only is it a waste of YOUR time, but it fills a spot that a kid who wants to play could have taken. Be fair.
#26: Thou shall not register to “make” your child do something. If they have no interest in the sport, don’t register them in hopes of them liking it. It will waste your time and your child will resent you.
#27: Thou shall show your team pride – respectfully. Don’t call the other team losers, don’t shove your team colours in the other team’s face. Just wear the colours, cheer on your team, and be kind. The other team are just kids too.
#28: Thou shall tell your child how proud of them you are. Remind them after every practice and every game. It will help them push themselves to get better and it will make them feel good about themselves!
#29: Thou shall follow minor sports associations on social media at own risk. Sure, they can be great for updates (if you see them thanks to all the new algorithms), but they can also see YOUR stuff. You’ve been warned.
#30: Thou shall not ask questions on social media. Save yourself the guilt, feeling of shame, and possibility of being publicly shamed by your local association. Do what every other parents (apparently) does and check the website. Or just show up at the arena, field, diamond, etc. You’ll eventually figure out when and where you’re supposed to be right?
#31: If you are part of an association – Thou shall NOT troll social media posts. It’s called keep scrolling. Parents have the right to get angry with things. You signed up to help run things, get over yourself, do your “volunteer” job, and act professional. Especially if you are commenting/posting as the association’s name. You’re not doing yourself or anyone else any favours, in fact, by acting like a tool on social media you’re showing your town what they AREN’T missing by NOT signing up for your sport.
#32: Thou shall have life saving if thy wants to play hockey. (And willing to spend it). Hockey has become the rich man’s sport. I have overheard parents saying they skipped paying a bill or two so they could afford hockey for their child. I’ve witnessed kids being left out of tournaments because their families can’t afford the extra fee. I’ve also seen kids crying and getting bullied because their parents can’t afford for them to play. Since when did our national sport become outrageously expensive? What happened to kids playing to have fun? And where the F**K does all that money go?!
#33: Thou shall be prepared to give up evenings, weekends, social time, me time, and any other spare minute you have. Your life now revolves around sports. Also, you may not get to enjoy watching your kid play the sport you’ve spent hundreds of money on because you’ll be too busy volunteering to help the team so you don’t have to spend another few hundred dollars – we’re talking possibly $400 more than the registration fee, tournament fees, gate fees, equipment costs, and fundraising.