Now Is the Time to Talk

The team isn’t picked yet or they have already got cut from a higher level. There’s no guarantees. The uncertainty and unknown weighs on every young aspiring players psyche. They are heading to camp or have just returned.

Now is definitely the time to talk.

Every kid is different. Every kid handles the process differently. You can give them the space you think they need, or you can sit them down and talk with them.

How do they feel? How are you adjusting to the new surroundings or tryout process? What’s the dressing room culture like?

Now is the time to talk.

Getting any young kid to talk is like pulling teeth sometimes, but these conversations need to take place more than ever.

Every athlete, young or old should feel supported.

“Oh everything is ok, everything is fine.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“I’ve got it under control.”

Default answers should never be taken lightly or accepted. Now is the time for hockey parents to talk to their kids. The conversation shouldn’t be centred around the tryout process, or the injustices around the selection process. These discussions should be directly related to the emotional and mental side of the everything involved in either getting cut or being in the running for a spot on a new team.

Now is the time to talk.

Parents know their child inside and out, but some don’t know when to give them space or when to support. It’s an incredibly difficult dynamic and one that a lot of hockey parents struggle with this time of year. Navigating the hockey world and it’s jargon especially revolving around the selection processes set in place is sometimes downright impossible.

With all the pressure that comes with the tryout process and high expectations and draft year distractions and elite level hockey, some players feel lost or consumed. Parents don’t know what to say, because for many they have never experienced that kind of heartbreak their son or daughter are going through by being cut or released.

With so much going on these days every player needs to understand that they are valued and appreciated, even when they are being challenged and pushed.

They need to know that their mental health is valued and they feel comfortable and confident that they can talk about how they feel.

It’s time to check in, it’s time to see how every player is handling things on and off the ice.

It’s time to talk about the adversity they have been confronted with and how they are coping with that.

Every coach and organization wants to win and have success, sometimes the most impactful aspects of winning don’t happen on the ice at all.

It’s check in time, let’s hope every coach is putting the person first and the player second.

Let’s hope every hockey parent out there are having meaningful discussions with their kid.

It’s time to talk.

It’s time to ask the right questions.

Now isn’t the time to bitch and complain about the process now is the time to provide support and a caring and compassionate mindset.

Now is the time to ask questions, and have “default answer free” real discussion on how your kid is feeling.

You know your child better than anyone. Getting released can take a toll. Experiencing a tryout or selection camp is a daunting stress inducing task. Now is the time to ask questions, observe and listen. If your child is struggling coping with all of this or any of this, now is the time to reach out to an expert a sports psychologist or therapist.

Far too many hockey parents ignore the signs and symptoms of early onset depression especially around this time of year and the hockey season.

Know the signs and symptoms. Take action, listen and look for the signs, but most importantly talk to them.

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