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By AAHA, 02/07/17, 11:30AM PST



We are near the end of the season and I am sure you and your kids are looking forward to playoffs, the battle to make the playoffs or just trying to finish the season in a positive note. I wanted to touch on three things that I have always stressed to my teams every year and were stressed to me all the way from when I was a child to the NHL. They are:

1) Discipline

2) Hard work

3) Sacrifice 

When I look at those three attributes it is easy to show the kids through the game of hockey how each of those values can carry them through not only hockey, but life as well.

When considering hard work, discipline and sacrifice I thought who better to reinforce those values than the parents.

How can a parent help?


It’s easy for a coach to tell a player to stay out of the box or not take a penalty, but that is not what we are talking about. How can parents show discipline during the hockey hours?

  • Don’t yell at the referees
  • Be supportive of you son and daughter even if they have what you perceive to be a bad game
  • Don't yell from the stands. Not only will you look like an idiot but your son/daughter cannot hear you anyway
  • Show sportsmanship to the other team and parents no matter if you win or lose
  • Be positive and encouraging
  • Be on time to practices and games
  • Show up at all practices unless for family, school or religion priorities
  • Support the coach when he disciplines your player and talk to your player about their actions
  • Get along with other parents on you team

Hard Work

  • Volunteer to help with fundraising, videotaping the game, running social media platforms that portray the team in a positive light. There are many ways parents can make an impact on a team in a positive way
  • When the kids play well compliment not on goals or assists, but in how hard they competed
  • Work extra with your son/daughter on passing, shooting or getting stronger
  • Teach that success comes with a price and that price is WORK
  • Teach them that in hockey and in life things may not go there way, but the one thing they always control is how hard the work


Everyone knows how much hockey parents give up for their kids so they can play a game that they love. But the bigger picture is how we can teach them life lessons.​

  • Hockey is a team game and although you may not like everything a coach does, do not ever teach your child selfishness over team
  • Teach them they may have to sacrifice individual accomplishments for the good of the team
  • Doing something for someone else when there is nothing returned such as taking stats for the team

Parents can reinforce all of the life lessons through hockey through their actions and their words. A sign I saw on Twitter made me realize how important our role is as parents. Here is what was on the sign:

Your child's success or lack of success in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are. But having an athlete that is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient and tries their best IS a direct reflection of YOUR parenting.

That is the goal each parent should have with his or her child.

Enjoy the experiences that hockey provides.  My son went to Quebec three years ago and doesn't remember the wins or losses, but he can tell you all about the sledding, snow park, pond hockey, ice castle and all of the other things he did with his billet. Enjoy the game and your child because they will be grown up before you know it.

See you at the rink!

Craig Johnson
Director of Coaching
Anaheim Junior Ducks