Would Say To You On Game Day?

Parent pre-game rituals are plentiful. Perhaps a particular coffee order, or in the case of my husband, it’s the same message he tells our kids before every game: ‘Go to the goal, go to the goal, go, go go!’

All of us parents have plenty of favorite inspirational maxims for our kids:

“I love watching you play, and I’m going to love you, no matter what happens.”

“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

“Be a great teammate today.”

However, what if your kids could offer YOU an inspirational message?

I offered this up for an episode of Our Kids Play Hockey Podcast, and hockey dad Johnson Patrick dropped a golden puck of what he would like to hear. 

“I’ll have fun. I can’t control others. I can control my effort and attitude.”  

Lee Elias, my fellow hockey podcaster, coach and professional team builder, wishes every kid could think and feel that before every game or practice. 

“At a young age, focusing on what you can control can be hard to comprehend, but it’s so important for kids to grasp,” Elias said. “Unfortunately, most people spend the majority of their time worrying about things they can’t control.”

There is something our kids can control, 

Elias continued. 

“You can control effort, mindset and what you put in your body…food and knowledge,” Elias said. “They can’t control if the ice conditions are bad, if the referees make a questionable call, if their coach isn’t playing them long enough, if their linemate is messing up. But attitude and mindfulness? That’s within their power to choose.”

Heath Wilson, another fellow hockey parent, chimed in with a fun, but important one he would like to hear: 

“I remembered my water bottle, and can we get Chick-fil-A after the game?” 

Chick-fil-A may seem comical, but your hockey player is showing responsibility with the water bottle and wants to create a memory too. 

Don’t sell that one short. Memories are what make the 125,000 miles on the SUV, equipment purchases, missed family events, and the chill that never quite comes out of your bones, worth every second. The time spent together as a hockey family is irreplaceable.


Here are some more of our favorite things we would like our kids to say before a game or practice:

“I will do my best/give it my all. I will be a good teammate. I will not argue a call.” –Kathalie Shaw, Roswell, Ga.

“I’m prepared. I know my job. I’m ready to battle.” –Steve Duffy “Sharp Shack”, Gardner, Mass.

“I can’t wait to play! I am going to play awesome today. I love you!” –Annie Reeder, Orange County, Calif.

Actual saying from my mite, “I’m going to backcheck, forecheck and earn a paycheck.” –Tracy Norri, Twin Cities, Minn.

“I love hockey. I’m going to have so much fun. I’m going to play my best.” –Nicole Grawe-Metro, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

“Dad, thanks for getting me to this sport. Dad, I’m def channeling my inner Marchy today. Dad, don’t get kicked out yelling at the refs. The scouts aren’t at this tournament, don’t worry.  –Mark Levy, New Haven, Conn.



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