Keeping Your Emotions In Check

Keeping Your Emotions In Check

February is a transitional month in hockey. It marks the midway point in the season, with the playoffs quickly approaching on the horizon. It’s a time when the dynamics inside of the rinks are about to change.

As a parent, it’s not too late to consider the following Code of Conduct Agreement put out for parents by the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association.

While there is no need to sign and return this, as is asked of parents and legal guardians who have children involved in a program of MAHA, it’s a good read providing reminders and advice that will assist everyone in this transitional and great time of the season.

“This program was put in place over five years ago,” said George Atkinson, president of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association. “Part of it is parent education on how to be a good hockey parent, and things you can do to help your child get the most out of their hockey experience.

“We also have instituted a system where parents can report other out-of-control parents. Each complaint is handled at the association or District level depending on severity. The main purpose is to get people to use the proper behavior and conduct at the rinks. Unfortunately sometime it takes more than that and sanctions against parents have to be taken.”

MAHA Parent Code of Conduct:
•  I will promote the emotional and physical well being of the athletes ahead of any personal desire to win.
•  I will remember that my child plays hockey for his/her enjoyment not mine.
•  I will encourage good sportsmanship through my actions, by demonstrating positive support for all players.
•  I will provide support for coaches and officials working with the athletes to provide a positive experience for all.
•  I will demand my athlete treat all players, coaches, officials, parents, and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability.
•  I will treat all players, coaches, officials, parents, and spectators with dignity in language, attitude, behavior, and mannerisms.
•  I will inform the coach of any physical disability or ailment that may affect the safety of my athlete or the safety of others.
•  I will respect the property and equipment used at any sports facility, both home and away.

GOOD SPORT  |  Forgive The Referee

Granted, the referees can sometimes be so easy to hate, but I challenge you to go a whole tournament weekend without hating anything.
Show your kids that someone can be very passionate about something without having an enemy. This will be helpful to your children as young competitors. It will make them so “mentally tough” that they will relate to the referees like the wind and not waste their time getting angry with them. They will learn to accept their own best effort and the best efforts of others, including those of the referees.
As a sports parent, it is ultimately more important to learn to forgive your own child, but focusing on the referee might be a good place to start.
You can even imagine what it would be like to be a referee surrounded by intensely involved parents, knowing that within the next hour you are bound to disappoint some of them. You can try to have compassion for the referee, who might still be a minor; then, after awhile, you can switch your focus and try to have compassion for your own child when he or she doesn’t play up to your expectations.
We all know what it feels like to not measure up, to not feel we are good enough. The most critical parents are usually the ones who have suffered from the most criticism.
Taken from “Win or Lose: A Guide To Sports Parenting” by Dan Saferstein, Ph.D. To learn more, go to


Fred Babekuhl
Minnetrista, Minn.

Fred grew up playing basketball and baseball in Minneapolis and wasn’t exposed to hockey until he met his wife, Lona, who was an avid hockey fan. Her love of the game was all the family needed to get their son, Evan, involved, and like so many other families, that led to total family involvement.

“Hockey brings together not only the kids on the ice, but also the families in the stands. That’s something you don’t see as strongly with other sports,” says Fred.
For the past four years Fred has volunteered with the Mound/Westonka Hockey Association in Minnesota as a District representative, association secretary and registrar.

“Nothing makes me more happy than to see the kids on the ice their first day of practice, learning to skate for the first time with their chairs and trainers. The excitement of the kids and those parents looking so proud is so gratifying.”



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