“We aren’t part of the clique.”
That’s what a lot of hockey parents believe and say in private. They aren’t part of the hockey clique, but they have to be very discrete saying those things because of the games culture and that perspective can drastically limit opportunities within the game for their child. Some of hockey parents feel like outsiders when it comes to the game and the political side of it. You know something they’re probably right.
There’s a lot of factors that go into being part of a clique. Everyone knows how it feels to be excluded or be part of one because we have all experienced it in some way growing up in sports, but things are different when it comes to the game of hockey.
Some people would say clicks are misunderstood and that they don’t exist. Some people would say the perceived “cliques” are just deep hockey friendships and shared passions for the game. That might be true as well, but why do so many hockey parents and families feel left out or like outsiders? That’s easy, they don’t want any part of if it.
You see it’s when those friendships go deeper and become political and influence the outcome of team selection, time on ice and beyond that people become so skeptical about cliques within the game.
Unfortunately, if you have played the game or have been part of it you’ve witnessed or experienced it first hand.
Can you ever remember being part of a team where there’s no politics in the stands or on the ice?
Can you ever remember being part of a team where parental influence never played a role in ice time?
Can you ever remember being part of team where everyone from the players to the parents got along and were on the same page and acted like a team free from drama and hockey cliques?
Unfortunately, a lot of hockey families have never experienced the positive aspects the game can offer.
It’s incredibly difficult for some hockey families to navigate the political side of the game.
There’s a strong sense that hockey clicks within the game are getting worse instead of better. So what does it mean when hockey parents say, “we aren’t part of the clique.”?
It might mean that they haven’t played the political game and that any opportunity or upward mobility in the game for their child was well deserved and rightfully earned. It might also mean that they just want to be hockey parents and see their child play the game they love and take it as far as they can go on their own without playing politics.