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How to Progress Children to Olympic Hockey Level

26 July 2023

Everyone wants to see their children succeed in their lives, and for parents of sporty kids, the pinnacle of success is often seen as competing at the Olympic Games for their country. As hockey parents, you may see your kids competing for one of the home nations at a high level in the future. It is a worthwhile aspiration to have for your children but just make sure that they are in it for enjoyment rather than just to please you. 

If they genuinely enjoy what they are doing, it is easier to progress to playing at a higher level, whereas if they resent the time being taken away from things they would rather be doing, there may be trouble ahead. 

There is no guarantee that any child will make the grade to play hockey in the Olympics, and there is no shame in falling short. Remember that the Olympic Games are the absolute pinnacle of world sporting achievement, and a genuinely minuscule proportion (0.0001%) of the World’s population will ever get to call themselves an Olympian. 

There are, however, steps you as a parent can take to encourage your child in the direction of Olympic greatness and we have listed some of these below. 

Ensure They Have the Best Kit

This is one of the biggest things you can do to help your child to become the best they can be. It can be discouraging to come home with bruised ankles due to inadequate padding, so try to ensure that all of their protective gear does what it needs to. 

Ensure that the stick they are using is aimed at people of their height. If they are having to use an outsized stick, this will hamper the development of their techniques and hinder the buildup of muscle memory that they need to succeed.

Help Them Find a Good Coach and Team

One of the most valuable things that you, as a parent, can do, is to help them to find a good coach and a team when the time is right. This will likely mean lots of lifts to and from practice, and some parents even end up being roped into helping with coaching or fundraising for the club. Be prepared that this might be something that happens. When children’s sport is a big part of their lives, it is often also a big part of their parents' lives as well. 

Encourage, But Don’t Smother

Be there for them when they want to talk about how a game went, but don’t sit and criticise their performance. You might feel it is constructive criticism that can improve their game, but children mostly just feel attacked and discouraged from playing in the future. 

There is a thin line to walk between encouragement and taking too close an interest as well. You should be able to let them know you are proud and supportive of them, but they should always know that this pride and support is not contingent on them producing excellent hockey performances.


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