Q & A - Dealing With Overly Competitive Hockey Parents

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Q & A - Dealing With Overly Competitive Hockey Parents

 This Weeks Question is:

"Do you know why are hockey parents so overly competitive and SO crazy?? Any tips on how to deal with them?"

That's a great question. And I apologize in advance. for not being one of those parents. 

There are a few things that come into play in regards to overly competitive hockey parents. One is their own childhood and how competitive they got to be. The second is their beliefs about what winning means. So, lets dive into each of these, and I'm going to start with the second one first.

What winning means to this parent

Some people have this set of beliefs that rule their day to day that say that winning and only winning means you are successful. Remember in a few of my posts I talked about having a fixed mindset and how that mindset is all about needing to feel worthy?

Well, parents have this mindset and it shows up in ways like them being super competitive and fighting for, well more like, continuously wanting their child or child's team to win. 

They might consider their child the extension of themselves and so need to have their child winning, in order for them to feel okay about who they are, as not only a person, but also as a parent.

Sounds a bit crazy right and yet for you, who isn't that way, you are probably finding it hard to comprehend WHY a parent would need to do this.

A little bit of compassion is needed to really understand that what this parent is doing is probably not even a conscious thing. They probably don't even realize they are being SO competitive, or more correctly WHY they are living life this way.

Why overly competitive parent operate this way

For these parents they likely had a childhood where they spent most of their time needing to be competitive to be seen. And I'm guessing that's the case. Possibly because they were part of a large family, or the middle child in a smaller family.

Either way they were always competitive. It's a part of their nature.

So, what's happened is they take that need to be competitive and don't know any other way of operating, especially not as a parent.

If they had parents who pushed them into a competitive way of being, how would they know to not operate that same way? They wouldn't. As I said, it's part of their DNA, part of who they are.

Did anyone hand you a book when you became a parent that said "Here is how to be a loving, caring, open parent who doesn't parent the same way your parents did?"

The answer to that question of course is no. So these 'parents' are copying their own childhood parenting.

Tips on dealing with these over competitive parents

My first tip is to have some compassion and now hopefully understanding of WHY they act the way they do. Remember this is their behavior and says nothing about the real person underneath.

Get to know that person underneath. You might be say "Why on earth would I want to do that?" Well, it's always a choice, and if you get to know Greg as Greg and not that overly competitive parent you might find a person that you can really connect with.

Who knows they might eventually share with you their story of why they are so competitive.

This is all about looking underneath their behavior and finding out about the real person, not the person you think they are, based on their behavior.

Karen Cherrett is a Sports Mindset Coach who specializes in coaching hockey players. Karen coaches players to be more focused and play with ease, not stress. And their parents to support their child in the best possible way. Life playing hockey should be fun. #MindsetMatters. Mental health matters. Hockey should be fun, not emotionally overloading.