How To Be A Saner Goalie Parent

Throughout the inaugural USA Hockey National Goaltending Symposium there were plenty of conversations about the mental toll and anxiety that comes with being a goalie. USA Hockey and its goalie nation remain committed to continuing to find ways to create a welcoming environment for all goalies and ensuring the game is fun and inclusive for all.

However, us goalie parents shoulder our own kind of pressure too. Just ask Sharon Enck from Phoenix. Her daughter was a goalie for 10 years. 

“It’s not easy to be the parent of the most visible member of the team,” Enck said. “It is a great honor and privilege, but it can also carry a great deal of stress and anxiety.”

There are a few ways you can achieve a more Zen state of mind as a goalie parent, and Enck offered up these suggestions to her fellow goalie parents:


Don’t Stand Behind Your Goalie’s Net Under Any Circumstance

“I’ve been there. I’ve done it,” Enck admitted. “It’s never a good idea unless you want more gray hair, a nervous tick and nausea. Trust me. (Your goalie doesn’t) want you behind the net analyzing every move they make either. Go make friends with the other parents at center ice. You will thank me.”


Keep Those Postgame Postmortems to a Maximum of 10 Minutes

“It isn’t healthy to keep rehashing things as would’ve, could’ve, and should’ve been,” Enck said. “(Debrief) no more than 10 minutes. Set a timer if you must!”


Ignore Your Inner Statistician 

“I know parents who check their kid’s stats after every game,” Enck said. “And tournaments? They huddle around the results sheet on the wall like bees around a beehive, calculating goal differentials, developing strategy on who needs to win or lose for their team to be in the playoffs or championship game. And then? They tell their goalie about it. Talk about pressure! Balancing my bank account after paying hockey fees and paying for equipment was all the math I needed to do in a season.”


Other Parents Are Not Your Enemies

“It’s easy to fall into the mindset that all parents are judging our goalie with every bad goal or loss, but it just isn’t so,” Enck said. “Well, at least not all of them. Sit with other parents at center ice, and root for the whole team. It will take your mind ever so slightly off of what is happening in the net. The bonus is once they know you better, it will be harder for them to smack talk when things don’t go our goalie’s way.”



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