November 5, 2009

Minor Hockey To NHL: Parents Survival Guide by Paul Valliant

I really enjoyed Bob McKenzie's book Hockey Dad. He talks of his own life as a hockey parent and youth coach, sharing what he's learned and how he grew as a parent and a person. As I read the book parts of the book I kept seeing myself or other sporting parents in the story. It was a real through provoking read on how parents are impacting their kids, and not always positively.

That got me thinking. The coaches of youth sports teams get to go clinics and seminars on how improve their coaching skills. The referees get to go to their own clinics and of course the players do, too. But there is no such education program on how to be a hockey parent. (Actually, just as I write this comes news of an education program for parents now existing for hockey parents in Calgary.) Maybe that is why we are doomed to repeat the "crazy" parent trend that can sometimes hurt our kids.

Enter Dr. Paul Valliant. He has a new book out called Minor Hockey To NHL: Parents Survival Guide. Through his own experiences, and through his insights as a psychologist, he informs hockey parents how to best assist their kids in the minor hockey system.

He gives parents an honest evaluation of many aspects of minor hockey. By doing so he gives parents an understanding of the rules, both written and unwritten, of minor hockey. With that understood, the parents can help their kids enjoy the game and take so much from it, both on and off the ice.

The book teaches parents to evaluate personality traits of players and coaches so you can best maximize the child's progression. With this knowledge you understand your impact and your coach's impact on young hockey players, and how to best motivate your child. Parents will know how to create a positive, rewarding environment for their children.

By reading Valliant's insights into the world of minor hockey, parents will also be able to maximize the highly rewarding experience of being a hockey parent. It is a great way to spend time with the kids and watch them grow, but also as a way for you to grow as a person and as a member of the community. By being proactive enough to identify the pitfalls Valliant identifies you will be prepared to be the best hockey parent you can be.


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