Happy Easter Everyone! Hope you and your family are enjoying this gorgeous spring day and having an Eggstraordinary Easter! Due to the holiday, there were no group classes this weekend but I was booked solid with private lessons. They were THE best lessons I’ve ever given because the ice was completely empty due to the holiday and my student and I had the entire rink practically to ourselves. I didn’t have to bother getting in anyone’s way and more importantly, didn’t have to constantly worry and watch out for aggressive and reckless hockey skaters chasing each other around and bumping into my students.
I would like to take this opportunity to praise and applaud a parent, specifically my long-time student Courtney’s dad, who unfailingly comes out onto the ice on every lesson and skates while I teach his daughter during the public session. It really is a great effort on her dad’s part to join us because I feel he is being a positive role model, providing his daughter constant support and encouragement on the ice. He’s helping Courtney to nurture a love and enjoyment for the sport by skating himself! I feel having her dad on the ice also shows Courtney that skating is a great family activity which helps bring the two closer together and foster a stronger bond between them. When Courtney’s dad is out there on the ice, he’s also showing everyone that skating can be fun and can be enjoyed at any age!
I decided to look up some information on parental involvement in sports for young children and I learned some very interesting information. According to TrueSport in a 1/16/2019 article, (https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/News/2019/January/16/The-importance-of-accountable-sports-parents), ‘…family members may influence an athlete’s involvement and achievement in sport even more than coaches. Parents also are the first and most critical determiners in whether or not children reap the social benefits of playing sports…Parental encouragement is significantly related to a child’s attraction to and competence in playing sports. Parents who provide positive encouragement instill a greater sense of enjoyment, ability, and motivation in their child.’
The article cited a study done by the University of Minnesota’s Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, ‘that the way girls perceive their parents’ assessment of their abilities predict their likelihood of playing and staying in sport. That is, if their parents do not have confidence in their abilities, neither will they.’
Did you know that fathers have more influence than mothers do?! The article reports that studies have shown that ‘fathers hold more influence – both positive and negative – over their daughter's sport competence and values than mothers do. However, mothers are more likely to first enroll their daughters in sport and then continue encouragement by providing transportation, uniforms, moral support, and snacks.’
So, next time any parent who is watching his/her child by the boards, why don’t you lace up your skates and come out and join us? You’ll not only be a positive and strong role model for your child but you’ll also reap countless physical and mental health benefits!