Your Hockey Goalie is Brave, Strong and Resilient, so Tell Them
Allyson Tufts, a Hockey Goalie Mom described a young player that made the decision to be a goalie as brave, strong and resilient.
This is a great way to see your child and support them through the emotional journey they are on.
Describing someone as brave talks about their ability to stand up and be there when others wouldn’t. None of the other players on the team chose to strap on the pads and set themselves in the net. That’s not their preferred place to be.
Yet for your child it is. It’s the place they most want to play in. That’s why they’ve chosen to strap on those heavy pads and stay out there on the ice for the whole game.
They don’t get a break and change shifts like the other players do. They don’t get to skate away from their position.
They are brave. Brave in a sense to be that one person trying their best to stop that fast-moving piece of rubber, the puck, from going into the goal net.
I’ve had the experience of being down on the ice and standing in goal. It is an exceedingly small space. And having players racing at you at fast speeds, hitting pucks at an even faster speed with the sole purpose of getting them past you is nothing short of treacherous. To stand there and want to stop that from happening is very brave.
What would it take to tell them you see them as brave?
It is not easy to stand strong when it feels as though you aren’t seen or acknowledged. It is even harder to stand strong when you are hearing from others that you are failing.
This may be the place your child is in.
And on top of all that, what YOU say to them, may impact how strong they see themselves as well.
If they have been determined to play goalie since they started hockey. That’s strength. It is not the easiest place on the team.
Stop and think about the fact that they wear additional gear and yet need to move as though they have none.
They are expected to remain focused even when they don’t get any play and yet shift that quickly when suddenly that does happen.
Your child is strong in their will to turn up and do their best each and every game, no matter what’s happening, and that might be experiencing nothing but criticism from all sides.
What if, you told your child they were strong?
Through bad seasons and good seasons, I am imagining your child still wants to suit up and hit that ice. They may feel as though they are being pushed from all sides, yet they still want to go to practice.
Hearing other players parents criticize them week after week, and yet continuing to show up and do their job of playing in goal, now that’s resilience.
Resilience is also about juggling schoolwork, homelife and hockey. Managing all of it even whilst feeling emotionally drained, or overwhelmed, that’s resilience.
We often disregard the resilience it takes to show up each and every day for a team.
As a parent, we look at what’s going on in our world and forget that our child may have just as much going on, and yet we overlook it.
What about sharing your stories of what resilience is about and how you see them as being resilient?
Each of these things will support you to strengthen the connection between you and your child. This will ultimately support their mental health.
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. Mindset matters. Mental health matters. Hockey should be fun, not emotionally overloading.