Last night I posted a question, “Is it appropriate to cheer when the other team gets a penalty? In an atom game? Or at any level?” This was not a new question and similar to one that I had posted before at the request of parents. Last night I was asked to post the question by a parent at one of my son’s games. So far, this question has generated 87 comments, including the following:
” Sorry …. but are these types of conversations real or people just looking to talk about nothing? Have we actually evolved to the point that this becomes our be all & end all??? Hockey is about having fun in AAA or house league. Please, stop this nonsense and just enjoy the game. Stop critiquing every aspect of the game & just enjoy it for what it is. Hockey Moms, I joined to interact with other hockey families however the topics lately have become ridiculous & irrelevant to what the spirit of hockey should be. I’m sure I have offended many but truthfully, are you looking for input or have you become a sounding board for whining & complaining??? Sometimes I really think you are looking for resolution to your own frustrations and not from other parents as you proclaim…. Just enjoy the game. Don’t over think it, don’t over do it. Just ENJOY the game!!!!”
I appreciate all comments, and I love this comment. I love it most because of the last sentence, “Just ENJOY the game!!!!” (By the way…please, do not apologize for your comment, freedom to speak our minds is what makes this community an engaged one).
When I started this page four years ago, it was for many reasons and one of which was because I so wanted to ENJOY the game without all of the headaches, the pressure, the politics that seemed to go along with hockey. I had watched hockey both elevate my kids to new levels, and watch their confidence drop to places it was painful to see them go. And as a Hockey Mom, sometimes I did not always know how to handle it, how to help my kids, how to keep the focus on their enjoyment and not my own ego. And I realized this was a problem. And I also realized that it was a problem that I was not alone in facing.
So with the help of all of you, we started asking the questions that together we were facing as Hockey Moms in what is sometimes, like it or not, a very intense sport. IS it ok to cheer when a player gets a penalty? You can see within the comments on our page that there are differing opinions on that very question. And it is an issue that gets parents in the stands riled up with each other, and sometimes gets kids in the penalty box crying because they are wondering why the grown-ups from the other team are cheering for them being penalized for something they maybe did, or did not, mean to do. And even if the other team is only cheering because the referee caught a call, or for the advantage that their team now has….if that kid in the box crying is your kid, it becomes very hard to just ENJOY the game.
There are an unlimited number of issues like this in hockey. Right now there are over 50 messages in my Facebook Inbox from Hockey Moms with questions just like these. This is the queue for the questions that get posted on the page. Sometimes I answer them myself, but more often I try to put the question out to our community so the person who asked can see the full range of responses. Sometimes the solutions seem simple to me, other times I can’t believe what is being asked, but I am always surprised to see that there are people who would disagree or take an alternate stance. And to me, that is the beauty of our Hockey Mom community, you get to see the full range, learn the perspective of others, and for the most part, hear from the Hockey Moms who are very positive, keep the kids at the forefront of the hockey experience, and who want desperately to ENJOY the game.
So keep those questions, and those comments coming. And the pictures and videos, memes, quotes, stories, information, and feedback as well (both positive and negative, it’s all important to me!). Each day over 100,000 people see what we post on our Facebook page. Sometimes it is 250,000 or more, depending on how important you seem to think the issue is, how many comments are posted, how far the picture or video gets shared. That is a lot of people to be touched by our enthusiasm, humour, dedication, love, and commitment to our kids, and to a great game.
So if you have a question, picture, information, joke, saying, video that you would like to share, post it on our Facebook Page, send me a message through Facebook, leave a comment below, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometimes it takes a while for me to get through everything you send me, but I will do my best. And thank you to everyone who takes the time to read and comment on the questions that come in, you make this community a great place for Hockey Moms to be!
Until next time, Happy Hockey!