skip navigation

Parent Education

The all-new USA Hockey Parents' Community website is designed for parents of 4-8 year olds so that their experience with hockey is an exciting one. Hockey is one of the greatest sports in the world and your child will learn not only the necessary skills to be a successful player, but life lessons as well. 



Pressure to Perform

Are YOU putting too much pressure on your Hockey Player?

The Pressure To Perform

When the emphasis on winning gets out of control and overzealous parents become aggressors in a quest to achieve perfection, young children are often inappropriately pressured to perform. In fact, across North America, cases of aggressive parental behavior during youth sporting events, including youth hockey games, are reported with increasing frequency in the media.

In a 2001 survey conducted by Sports Illustrated for Kids, 74% of the 3,000 children who participated in the survey said they had witnessed adults acting out of control during youth sporting events. The need to make a difference and to return hockey and other sports to the fun games they are meant to be is now more relevant than ever.

The following incidents have made recently made headlines and further support the idea that inappropriate behavior by parents and fans in youth sports is becoming a very serious problem one that takes the fun out of playing sports for many children.

  • In Windsor, Ont., a father was charged with assault when he grabbed his 10-year-old daughter by her facemask, shaking her and screaming at her in a confrontation about a play she made following a youth hockey game.
  • In Athens, Ala., the father of a youth baseball player was charged with assault on another man who had complained that the father was heckling the other 11- and 12-year-old players. A knife was pulled, and one of the fathers required more than 100 stitches to his face and neck.
  • In Reading, Mass., the father of a 10-year-old argued with, physically assaulted and killed another father who was supervising a pick-up hockey game because he was concerned, ironically, with the level of body checking going on between the boys. The father was sentenced to 10 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.
  • In Virginia, a mother was fined for attacking a referee, slapping and scratching his face. The game involved nine-year-olds and the referee was 14.
  • A police officer in the city of Montreal was charged with making death threats against a referee at his 10-year-old sons youth hockey tournament.
  • In Hollywood, Fla., an assistant coach for a summer youth baseball league was charged with aggravated battery for striking an umpire and breaking his jaw after a disagreement over a call.
  • Two Salt Lake City women were charged with using an umbrella, a stroller and their fists to beat another mother to the point of unconsciousness after a youth baseball game.