Lesson #9 – Your dreams shouldn’t cost your integrity

“You dreams shouldn't cost your integrity” simply means that you should never do anything dishonest or back handed to push your child's hockey career forward.

It’s our job to advocate for our kids until they can do it for themselves. Advocating for our kids is especially true if it's a safety issue or if we feel the situation requires adult input. I think the goal is always to raise strong, resilient people who will be able to manage life and all that it has to offer as they move forward. I strongly believe that our kids need great mentors in their life to help them go out into the world and succeed. Paul Carson said it best when he said, "It isn't an automatic that kids develop great character through sport unless they have great role models through sport."

One of our toughest times during Brock’s minor hockey career was when he had to deal with a situation with his coach. Brock loved playing for this coach, he was tough, he knew the game, and he was a great motivator. You’ll notice that I used the word “tough” to describe him. Most of the kids could deal with that but some couldn’t. About halfway through the year, complaints went to the Executive about this coach. We got a call from the Executive asking Brock to speak about his thoughts on the coach. He told them he had nothing bad to say about his coach and that was the end of it. Suddenly, this coach’s demeanour towards him changed significantly. After that call, Brock was always worried that his coach thought he had said something bad about him. I assured him that wasn’t the case and to just play through it. Here is an excerpt from the book about that situation.

“When the season was over I decided to contact the coach and thank him for all he had taught our son and for seeing something in him when he selected him. After he thanked me, I told him that we had been contacted by the executive regarding the complaints that had come forward about him and that he refused to say a bad thing about him and never met with them. The phone went quiet. Then he said, “I really wish you would have told me that sooner.”

I’ll never forget that call and after I hung up, I realized that Brock was right. The fact that this coach was being called out by the Executive was affecting the way he was treating my son because he assumed he had told on him. I’ve talked so many times about our young players learning the skills to manage being cut from a tryout and managing constructive criticism as it comes their way. I think there are some cases where our coaches need to do the same. If you aren’t picked to coach a team, even if there is politics involved, handle it in a professional manner. Deal with the adults that made the decision but don’t ever let your disappointment or frustration trickle down to the players you coach.

I think we all have those moments when we forget that the players are why we are there. It's not because we are bad parents or coaches. It's because as parents, we love our kids so much and we only want what's best for them. As coaches, we love the game so much our competitive edge takes over. We need to remember that we don't ever want to manipulate the outcome to get what we want and lose our integrity in the process.

Click here for video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ub7ZbGvhok&feature=youtu.be

Written by Allyson Tufts

Author, Speaker and Passionate Hockey Mom

Stay tuned for our final video in the series, “Let go of the control you never had in the first place.”

If you would like to learn more about the series or to order your copy of the book visit www.lessonsfrombehindtheglass.com