Being a hockey parent and owning a hockey related business, allows me to see different sides to this sport. As a hockey parent sitting in the stands I am able to concentrate (as much as I can with my 2 younger kids running around) on my mite's playing. I am able to cheer for them with a group of other hockey parents and watch them grow as a player. I do sometimes yell and cheer too loudly, but never to cut down my player or any others on the ice.
As a visitor to many different rinks, not watching my own son I am able to see how some other parents act, that they get maybe too caught up with the score and not the players effort. Yes I know it is a game and I know the score decides who wins, but we as parents need to remember that it is our child and other children out there, not adults getting paid to play the game.
I think sometimes that in competitive sports we as parents forget that when the game or practice is over, it is our job to encourage and advance their self esteem and not to diminish it, even unintentionally. You can give 1,000 kind words and they might not remember them all but 1 harsh comment might stick with them forever. Let's make sure that they remember how much they love the game and the time they spend playing it.