Melissa Walsh

How to Love Your Hockey Player

Powerplay Communications | February 12th, 2013 | Hockey Mom Sense blog: "How to Love Your Hockey Player"

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By Melissa Walsh

“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.” ~Frederico Fellini

Without passion there would be no hockey. Players do not pursue hockey as a life activity without having evolved a passion, a true love, for the game.

So the way to the heart of the hockey player is identifying with his, or her, love for the hockey game. If your Valentine is a hockey player, show your love by appreciating the hockey game with these simple LOVE steps:

L - Learn about the hockey game.

To the rookie observer, it may look like hockey players are just scrambling wildly after a puck, but the game is really more controlled than it seems. There are rules for organizing the chaos. To share the experience of watching a game with your hockey-playing sweetheart, learn what “offsides” and “icing” are. Learn the ref calls. The “Spectator Mom” section of The Rookie Hockey Mom offers a complete explanation of game rules and ref signals.

O - Open up to the culture of the hockey game.

Hockey is not just a game; it’s a lifestyle. Grow an appreciation of what hockey has meant to your hockey player in developing character and building friendships. Understand your player’s desire to play regularly in the beer league or weekly drop-in and the joy of hanging out with teammates in the room after the game. Like yoga or weight-training, or even meditation, playing hockey is a way to cope with and recover from the stresses of life. Playing hockey not only hones physical strength and mental toughness, it provides community for life’s ups and downs.

V - Value the player’s passion for playing the hockey game.

Passion and struggle go hand in hand, and this intertwining of passion and struggle is the experience of the hockey game. It is the drive to play better each game, each shift. The will to win is the hero’s battle for the hockey player.

E - Encourage the player in evolving skills for competing in the hockey game.

Striving to get better at something is good for the soul. And as physical demanding an activity as playing hockey is, the drive to play better keeps a player feeling young at heart and physically strong. If your player is excited about achieving a points lead or an impressive plus/minus average, celebrate with him, or her.

Enjoy the LOVE of hockey with your player this Valentine’s Day.