If there’s one sports season that means a constant go, go, go for both kids and parents, it’s hockey season. Between driving a budding hockey superstar to endless practices, organizing fundraisers and maintaining equipment, there’s no denying that being a hockey parent is a busy job.
But that team camaraderie is infectious and seeing your little one’s determination on the ice makes all the time and money worthwhile. Still, a little preparation can go a long way when it comes to having a great hockey season! You can start by making sure that they are wearing properly fitting gear, and there are many resources online that can help you like this article on hockey glove sizing. Here are five additional tips to help ensure this year is the best one yet:
1) Develop a Routine
Because the hockey season is so busy, establishing a scheduled routine is key. 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! Hockey equipment is bound to collect sweat when your kid is skating their heart out 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!
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.
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!
With an oldest son that loves being on the ice and a youngest son that’s taking skating lessons for the first time this year, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be using quite a few of these tips. But with a little patience and some great products from Church & Dwight on my side, I’m sure we’ll all come out of this year’s hockey season with a smile!