With March break upon us my son’s minor hockey season is coming to an end and I’m looking forward to a breather from schlepping to the rink 3 times a week! For many parents however chauffeuring the kids to activities never stops! Having children in sports is a time consuming and overwhelming endeavor for both parents and siblings! I know that hockey season for us means many hours in our cold arena, endless driving to away games or tournaments, and weekends where we scramble to get our kids to birthdays, hockey and more!

Here are 5 tips to help you stay organized and get the most out of sports! Put together by Debbie Bonhomme and Connie Doughty, the mothers of McDonald’s® atoMc® Hockey Ambassadors Tessa Bonhomme and Drew Doughty – and long-time hockey parents themselves – these tips will help whether you’re going to the rink, the pitch, the diamond or the gym!

hockey player

1. Teach your child the importance of a balanced life

“Help your child understand the need to schedule time for school work, the sport they love, relaxation and rest. This balance is necessary to complete all that needs to be done. Start young so it becomes a habit and not something that is forced. This can also mean missing out on events that your child might have liked to attend.” – Debbie Bonhomme

2. Make the focus of the game their work ethic

“Sport teaches your children so many life lessons. Unfortunately, they aren’t going to win every game, but if they work hard and put in a valiant effort, they should be proud of themselves. Letting them know you’re proud of their work ethic will build their confidence, which in turn will bring on smiles and fun. They cannot control the outcome of the game, but they can control the work they put in; focus on that as opposed to goals, points and winning.” – Debbie Bonhomme

3. Get organized and think about meal planning

“I would pick one day a week, usually first thing Saturday morning, and prepare my meal plan for the week. This helps ensure healthy eating, saves on shopping, eliminates guess work, and eases in balancing quick meals for scheduled practices and games.” – Connie Doughty

4. Air out the gear after every game and every practice… even on the road

“We made it a routine for Tessa to always bring her gear in and air it out after every game and practice, whether at home or on the road. Gear becomes moldy and smelly when it’s left in a bag for an extended period of time. I also washed it with detergent once a month during the season.” – Debbie Bonhomme

5. Make friends with other parents

“Make the most of the new friendships you develop with the other parents. Carpooling and play dates come in handy and will save you time and energy throughout the year!” – Debbie Bonhomme

atoMc hockey

About atoMc Hockey

McDonald’s Canada launched the atoMc® (Atom Division) and Équipe McDoMD (Bantam Division/Quebec only) hockey program in 2011.

Building on the 25-year historical relationship between McDonald’s and Hockey Canada, atoMc® Hockey goes above and beyond a traditional sponsorship by providing participating teams a full set of pro-style jerseys, socks and team kits that support players through the season. It is the only program developed in partnership with and endorsed by Hockey Canada.

All atoMc teams receive a comprehensive team kit including (among other things) full-sets of pro-style jerseys and socks. The jerseys feature very same Hockey Canada logo worn by Canada’s men’s and women’s National teams!

Participating minor hockey associations can register their entire Atom division, or any number of Atom teams, in atoMc Hockey by clicking HERE. Act quickly – a limited number of sponsorship opportunities are available for the 2014-15 hockey season.

The atoMc Hockey and Équipe McDo program is proudly supported by three Canadian Olympic gold medalists: Drew Doughty (LA Kings), Marc-André Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Tessa Bonhomme (Canadian Women’s Olympic Team).