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Parent Engagement Guide

Download the complete Parent Engagement Guide >

Our goal for your child is that s/he has a fun and positive experience, develops hockey skills and skills as a good person, and hopefully stays in our great sport in some capacity for many years. We are not just focused on wins and losses; we care about the overall development of your child as a good player, a good person and a good citizen. To help achieve these goals, Hockey Alberta:

  • Instructs and follows the best practices in coaching and established sport science for creating the best hockey experience possible.
  • Adjusts competition formats and training to best serve the capacities and developmental needs of children.
  • Understands that player development, like child development, is a long-term process and it takes time.
  • Focuses on fun and skill development in the early years for our players.
  • Offers skill development camps for athletes of all ages and abilities throughout the year

A key aspect of supporting our athletes is providing resources and support for parents across the province. Parents are encouraged to check the Hockey Alberta website regularly, under the Parents Tab, for links to articles and videos to you support your athlete.


Parent Engagement Series:


Healthy nutrition is a critical part of your child’s development — both as a young person and as a young hockey player. On game day everything counts and athletes must eat well to perform at their highest level, on demand and from beginning to end. However, healthy eating is essential to the growth and development of a young athlete every day, not just on game days.

Hydration is a key component of sports nutrition that is often overlooked by young athletes. Drinking water before, during and after an activity can improve mental and physical performance.

Eating healthy while travelling can be a challenge, but is easier when the team is on the same page with the same goals. Out of town tournaments are often associated with eating at restaurants. If funds are available and interest is present, teams can work with outside sources to coordinate healthy take out tournament menus.

Coaches have the ability to foster a culture of healthy eating within a team setting. Depending on the age group of the athletes, parent involvement and buy-in to the healthy eating for sport may be needed. Coaches can provide athletes and their parents with resources that have pre- and post-hockey meal ideas.

More Nutrition Tips >


Resources:

Sports Nutrition for Youth - Alberta Health Services

Feeding Your Child Athlete - Kids Health

Coach’s Kitchen - coach.ca

6 Nutrition Tips for Young Athletes - Active Kids

10 Best Foods for Young Athletes - Jill Castle, Childhood Nutrition Expert

One Month of Healthy Meals for Athletes - Ertheo

Game Day Nutrition for Youth Hockey Players - hockeytraining.com

Both the Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada Long Term Player Development (LTPD) Models recommend allowing young athletes to participate in multiple sports rather than specializing at an early age. Participating in multiple sports allows young athletes to learn a variety of motor skills, hone them efficiently and increase their physical literacy. It teaches them diverse movement patterns, varied skill sets and cognitive understanding of game sense.

Encouraging your child to participate in a variety of athletic activities decreases the risk of burnout due to stress, decreased motivation and lack of enjoyment. A study by Ohio State University found that children who specialized early in a single sport led to higher rates of adult physical inactivity. Those who commit to one sport at a young age are often the first to quit, and suffer a lifetime of consequences. Athletes in the study who specialized were 70% to 93% more likely to be injured than children who played multiple sports. 

Resources:

Watch Hockey Canada CEO, Tom Renney, sit down with Jason deVos, director of development with Canada Soccer, to discuss how small-area games have been benefiting the development of young athletes.

Youth Hockey Players & The Importance Of Multi-Sport Participation - New York Rangers (June 2015)

Specialization: What Does It Really Mean? - Active for Life (May 2015)

Sports Specialization in Young Athletes: Evidence-Based Recommendations - Sports Health

List of Professional Multi-Sport Athletes

Download our complete Social Media Guide >>

Social media use among adolescents continues to grow rapidly every day. According to recent reports, 51 percent of teens visit social networking sites on a daily basis, and nearly a third of teens visit their favourite social networking site(s) several times per day.

Social media has also gained a prominent role in sport, and not just for athletes, but parents, coaches, and fans as well. With athletes now being exposed to social media at a young age, it’s very important for parents to take an active role in their children’s social media use to reduce the risk of any negative effects it may have.

While there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach for parents to use when it comes to their children and social media, there are a number of ways to help get ahead of any potential misuse and negative behavior.

Tips for parents to promote proper social media use:

  • Set the example: if you’re not behaving properly on social media, it’s hard to expect your children to follow proper social media etiquette.
  • Start the conversation: create a safe and open dialogue between you and your children when it comes to social media. Building trust means they will be more likely to share what they’re doing on social media with you, and they’ll come to you first with any questions or issues.
  • Be assertive, but not over-bearing. Be careful not to turn social media into a ‘taboo’, creating a temptation to break the rules.
  • Communicate: Have a conversation with your children and agree upon an acceptable amount of screen time per day.
  • Trust your children on social media until they give you a reason not to – if they know they already have your trust, they should be more included to ensure they don’t lose it.
  • If necessary, explore measures for monitoring screen time and social media use.
  • Check to make sure your children have their privacy settings set properly on each platform to reduce the risk of information falling into the wrong hands
  • Do your homework and research. The more you know about each social media platform and the risk/reward involved, the more you can relate to your children and ensure they’re using each platform properly and safely.
  • Help them understand that what they say/do on social media has a ripple effect. Family, friends, teammates, etc could all be associated and negatively effected by any poor behavior on social media by an individual.
  • Watch what you say/post . The same goes for parents - your family, your children’s team, etc, will often be associated with what you say/do on social media.
  • Learn from your kids! Children don’t often have the opportunity to be smarter than their parents, but when it comes to social media, they’re often the experts. Use it as a bonding experience, and let them show you the ropes and have some fun with it. You’ll not only learn more about social media, but you’ll get a better idea of how your children use each platform for themselves.

Resources:

Why it’s Never Too Early to Teach Good Social Media Habits

12 Ways for Athletes to Find Social Media Success

Coaches: Youth Sports, Social Media, Parents Have Changed the Job