“I don’t watch stats at all. The only thing I measure is how happy she is playing the game.”

I wanted to interview a goalie Mom. Anyone who has read my book knows my stress and my feelings about hockey and knows I didn’t handle either very well. I needed to hear someone else’s perspective about the position. I wanted the perspective from a Mom whose daughter stood between the pipes. I’m so glad I found a Mom willing to do an interview because she taught me a lot. The opening quote is from her and, as soon as she said it, I realized I could have learned a lot from this goalie Mom.

When I asked her what her favourite thing about watching her daughter play was, she said, “I love seeing how happy she is and seeing the joy she has for the game.” Many times, she mentioned her daughter’s calm demeanour during and after games. She said she’s always loved the position and the pressure that goes along with it. When I asked her to explain why her demeanour was so important to her, she explained that her daughter has autistic tendencies and that hockey has helped her immensely with that. I listened intently as she described how playing hockey and being a part of a team has helped her with her schoolwork. It’s taught her to be organized and, most importantly, it’s helped her socially. I write so much about how hockey can be a great teacher for your child and this young net minder is such a great example of that.

Unfortunately for this hockey Mom, it’s not all good news when it comes to watching her daughter take her place in net. She said her greatest stress is the parental interference in the game. She spent many games listening to comments or hearing people blame her daughter for the outcome of a game. I couldn’t help but think that most of these parents would have no idea what this Mom has faced with her daughter. It was a great reminder that so many of us have no idea what those who stand beside us in the arena or in life are dealing with.

The thing that bothers this goalie Mom the most is when adults mistreat players with their actions or their words. She was hesitant to share the comments her daughter had faced but she did have one story she was willing to share. She told me they had beaten a team in playoffs; however, during the game, the coach for the other team started yelling at his goalie so the whole rink could hear. She said, “Even though we’d beat them, even though they were our competition, I wouldn’t wish that on any young person.”

After asking what people don’t understand about the position of goaltending, she replied, “They don’t understand the stress of the position. The object of the game is for that little puck to find its way through the leg of that one player and that one player is the goalie. The pressure to be at your best is huge.” Before I did these interviews, I would have agreed with that comment 100%, but after talking to Moms whose kids play defence or forward, I’ve realized they feel their own pressures to. As we ended the interview she said, “Although my daughters had some tough moments, she’s also had many where adults have worked with her daughter to help her succeed. Given some of her challenges, that kind of attention and the game of hockey have been invaluable for her.”

– Written by Allyson Tufts; Author, Speaker and Passionate Hockey Mom


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