Managing The Bench – Coach Of The Year


Every year, before the season officially begins, us hockey parents have to fill out a form about our kids health and potential problems they may have throughout the season. Typical hockey protocol. I completely understand it. 

My son has seasonal allergies, which we’re both suffering from right now. We are sneezing, our sinuses are stuffed up, and we cough until we gag. It’s awful, but we deal with it every time the weather changes. It’s no big deal to us. It’s embarrassing at times – especially out in public – but there are some times when we don’t have a choice but to be around other people. Like during hockey practice. 

For others, they lean back every time we cough, assuming we’re sick. They recoil, not wanting to catch whatever it is they think we may have. Once we explain it’s just allergies and it’s not contagious, most people are pretty understanding. Some even offer us tissues. 

But not our hockey coach. 

Tonight, as the kids were getting dressed, the coach sat with me for a few minutes. Since he was right beside me, I thought I’d pre-warn him that my son’s allergies have flared up again. Before I could fully explain myself, he cut me off and said in a sarcastic tone, “don’t worry, hockey mom, someone will be out there to help wipe his nose for you.” 

To my utter shock, and out of reflex, I passive-aggressively answered back, “ya know what, Coach of the Year, I just wanted to warn you so he doesn’t puke on your skates. But let’s just forget I even mentioned anything and see how this plays out. Go Team!”

And I walked the fuck away. 

A small part of me hoped my son would puke on his coach’s skates, but I knew my kid would never be as big of an asshole as his coach. 

Fun times at the hockey rink. 


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