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Competitive sports, or competitive parents?I know


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Dec 27, 2017
Hey Fastlaners,

I know this is a business forum, but my business happens to be in sports (hockey specifically) so let me pick your brains for a moment if you would be so kind!

I currently play professional hockey and have lived my whole life playing competitively. As a kid it all seemed completely normal to me, skipping school to attend tournament games on Fridays (sometimes even missing Thursday because I needed the “rest” before the big tournament), outrageous equipment cost, team fees, and not to mention a regular weekly rotation of feuding parents fighting and yelling at pretty much anyone and everything including their own children.

I could go on for days talking about crazy parent stories that I have witnessed first hand as a kid, and I know minor hockey has only become more competitive since I was playing so I can only imagine what’s going on today!

Anyways, now that I am older, do not have kids myself, and am looking to create my business in the minor hockey market I look back at my experiences and think, HOW IN THE HELL IS THIS NORMAL?? HAVE PARENTS LOST THEIR MINDS?

So I have a few questions for any parents who have experienced “competitive” sports or are currently experiencing them...


First of all, as a parent, is their any sort of goals to having your child play competitive sports? Example: Get a scholarship? Play for their country in the Olympics? Or is a 7 figure contract in the National League the only reason they are playing?

Secondly, do parents have any sort of knowledgeable direction for their child’s path through the sports they choose for them? Example: if the goal for my child is to get a scholarship in this sport, then does he have the grades? What is the NCAA’s requirements for my child’s eligibility? Are they on track and currently playing on a team that will allow for them to get the exposure they need to be seen by NCAA teams?

Finally, do parents believe that after all the money and time they have invested into their child that screaming and yelling at them is a beneficial way of seeing a return on that investment? Example: are you helping shape your child into a respectable, strong, confident person... and athlete?

Appreciate any input or advice!
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Hey man I played hockey growing up as well and can relate to the madness. It's all pretty ridiculous looking back traveling to all those tourneys and spending every single weekend driving state to state for games. I played football as well and would sometimes go straight from hockey to football games and play like 3-4 games a weekend. It's a crazy lifestyle but it's all I knew back then. It was just what my family did.

There's no doubt it helped me develop as a kid and kept me out of trouble. What would you have been spending your time doing if you weren't playing hockey? Think about that for a second. There are always those parents who live vicariously through their children and push them to become the next Gretzky for their own gain, but in most cases I think that's a shallow way of looking at it. Most parents just love their kids and want to see them happy and part of something they enjoy. Yes, perhaps they get too caught up in it and that may not be how you would like to spend your time, but for some that's fulfilling, sacrificing for your kid like that. They just want the best for their kids and it can get heated and passionate when other parents get in the way of that.

Just some food for thought.

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