Sunday, February 24, 2013

Why I don't yell instructions, as a parent.

A parent yelling instructions is something I work hard to control as a team coach.  And I work hard to not yell instructions during my sons' games, when I am not coaching.  This doesn't come from some deep moral fiber, but rather an embarrassing incident.

As I coach more, that guides my decision to not control from the parent side, as it undermines the coach and I would not appreciate it myself.  But my incident?

When my son was a goalie for the Welland "Tyke B" travel hockey team way back in 2000, I was just starting my career as a hockey dad.  I had helped a bit when all three boys were in the instructional program, but more as a guy who gathered and set up cones for the coach.

So, still not sure why, I told him on the way to a tournament game "When the puck comes down the ice and nobody's around, why don't you come out and play it and set it up for your defensemen."

Hey, I'm smart, I'm a soccer coach and that's what our goalkeepers do.

So we are in Hamilton, Ontario for our first game, a puck slides down the ice all by its lonesome and he comes out of the net to play it and pushes it forward to a defenseman.  I was so proud.  But all of the parents were yelling "Leave it!!!"  "Stay in your net!!!" and his coaches were yelling.  But, he's stubborn and listened to his dear old dad and kept doing it.  Hey, what did those parents know??

After the game we're in the lobby and his coach, an old friend, came out of the dressing room with a big smile and yells "Hey, DeChellis, what are you telling your son?? He killed every icing call we would have gotten!!!"


Then, my son comes out of the changeroom with his friends and before the customary "I want a drink" he declares, loudly, "Coach Kirk says to never, ever listen to you again unless it's at soccer".

That, my friends, is a life changing moment.