I briefly mentioned the other day that we’ve reached the point of hockey season where I feel like it will never end. And part of me wants to give in when one of the boys says they want to quit hockey.
You see, I am not the only one that wants this over with. The younger two boys are ready to have their Saturday mornings take on a more relaxed speed. Every year at this time, it becomes a countdown of Saturday morning practices.
God bless their short memories, because every year, they say “I’m not playing hockey next year” and because I’m just as exhausted as they are, I do a silent cheer in my head. But by the time we have to register for the next season, they are telling me they want to go.
Now, here’s my advice, because this will be the third year in a row mine have whined and wanted to quit. And they want to quit now. My advice is this: Do not let them quit midseason.
I say this for a few reasons.
- This is one of the few, easy ways to teach them to honor their commitments. Not a terrible lesson to start learning.
- The end of the season is a ton of fun. Our league does a Fun Day for the Initiation level. Hockey games, bake sale, puck toss. It’s basically a winter carnival. It’s one of the things that gets us through to the end of the season.
- You have paid for a full season. This is not the best reason for it, but it’s not a bad reason either.
- They have a team that expects them at practice. The coaches make practice plans and put the time and effort into the season. Another lesson to be learned: you don’t leave your team members halfway through a season.
- While it may or may not be the case, giving them a chance to play through a full season will help them decide on whether it’s something they can commit to next year or not. There is a chance that they are too young to know this, but in that case it will help you decide if they can commit to a full season next year.
- For me, in particular, I know by watching them on the ice that they don’t want to quit. They just want a break. They may fight me tooth and nail to get on the ice, but once they are there? All smiles. I’m not buying it kid. It’s ok to be tired but this is teaching them that pushing through the tired to get to the good stuff is so worth the effort. It’s a lesson I’m trying to re-learn by running stupid distances.
At this point, I want to mention this: You know your kid better than anyone else. So if you are watching them on the ice and know in your soul that it is not the place for them, then it doesn’t matter what anyone else’s opinion is. You make the best call for your kids.
Because there is a world full of activity and sports out there. And I’m the first parent to tell you that the minute my boys say they are done with hockey, I will fully support the choice.
Just as long as they finish the current season.