Moms ensure hockey success

Hockey moms ensure success (Supplied image).

Hockey moms ensure success (Supplied image).

Rita DeMontis, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:26 PM ET

Behind every successful hockey player you'll find....a mom.

Sure, Dad plays a heavy role, too, but more often than not, it's moms who are the ones who make sure their kids enjoy Canada's national sport both on and off the ice. They're the ones who keep the skates on ice with scheduling, schlepping, early-morning grogginess, making sure everyone's been fed and sitting in ice-cold seats while cheering on their kids. And — ask any parent whose child is involved in amateur hockey, you'll know it's a mighty expensive extra-curricular sport, too. Research from an RBC survey shows the average family spends about $1,500 a year on hockey-related expenses.

That said — most everyone knows someone whose child is involved in amateur hockey. And in most cases, that someone you know is a mom.

Theresa Dostaler is such a mom. Founder of the interactive Canadian Hockey Moms since February 2010, this Madoc, Ontario mom has created a website that's a must go-to for anyone in dire need of practical advice.

Considering she's small-town Canadian, her website is considered one of the largest, most engaged communities for hockey moms in the world. A full-time mother to three children ages 10, 9, and 5, all of whom who have been on the ice since age 2 and now have full hockey schedules, when Theresa is not tearing from arena to arena for practices or games, she also operates Synergy Research and Evaluation Consulting, (Synergyrec.info), a business that focuses on educational and community based-research. How did she get involved in amateur hockey in the first place? "I have always been part of a hockey family. My father played and coached, my older brother played and I was dragged around to the arena as a child," says Dostaler. “Girls didn’t really play hockey back then, so I figure skated my whole life starting at the age 2. I grew up at the rink...hockey has always been around me."

What are the best things that come from kids being involved in hockey?

"It’s about the fitness, confidence, dedication, teamwork, and friendship,” says Dostaler. “Hockey teaches kids to work towards goals. It also teaches kids to overcome adversity and come back stronger after setbacks. Hockey teaches interdependence, individual players are better when they work together than when they are trying to do it all on their own. Believe it or not MOST kids learn that pretty quickly. And hockey is a sport that they can take with them into adulthood."

Her joy comes in watching her children commit themselves and "work towards something is priceless. They learn many things that I can’t teach them myself, and that is very rewarding. But for me, each season I look forward to spending time with my hockey family. The friendships and memories we build can last a lifetime." Dostaler's website offers everything from tips to survive the regiment to recipes to help keep the energy level up — for everyone. Being a good time manager and getting organized are two key messages — but the most important is "just having fun."

Why did Dostaler start her blog in the first place? "There are really two main sets of reasons for starting it — on one hand, I wanted to learn more about social media since this is what my kids are growing up with. And with a background in community development, I wondered if I could build a nationwide community of hockey moms."

The site exploded with response and energy, and ultimately, answers to share with like-minded moms.

"I've learned that we all have the same problems. The fact that we are able to share with each other, problem solve, swap ideas - that is what sustains me now. And I have 'met' some incredible women who have inspired me, and at least once a day one of them makes me laugh." For additional details, check out Canadianhockeymoms.ca.


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