Mom Mondays: Hockey Email Etiquette, Peeves and Politeness
It’s the beginning of August and soon – if it isn’t so already – your inbox is going to be inundated with hockey-related emails. As a former hockey team manager, I am very often the one to blame for the deluge of hockey emails in your inbox! As I am about to begin my seventeenth season as a hockey mom, I thought I would share some email Do’s and Don’ts where minor hockey is concerned.
- Respond to your coach or your team manager. I mean, for real, not in your head. They are volunteers charged with trying to make your child’s hockey experience as enjoyable as possible and this requires a fair amount of organization. Radio silence on your end is annoying and requires them to send out reminders. Send a reply as soon as you can.
- Keep your emails short and sweet. It’s minor hockey, not a legal briefing, for crying out loud. Are you going to be at the team icebreaker party or not? (But do let the host know what wine you plan to bring too!)
- Share all relevant information in one email and proofread it before sending. Nothing like getting emails that start out, “Please disregard my last three emails”! People make mistakes, that’s for sure, and sometimes critical information about the upcoming game or tournament does change but if you know you’re not good with details, double check your email! Take Two is funny. Take Five? Not so much.
- Tell me who you are! We all get a lot of emails every day. Many of us have multiple kids in hockey and don’t yet know all the parents on the team. If you’re asking for a ride to the game for your child, tell me who your child is (this is especially important to those, like me, whose last name differs from their children) and which game you’re talking about. I want to help, I really do, but with three kids going in three different directions, I need to know who you are!
- Hit “Reply All” when responding specifically to your coach or manager. No one else on the team really needs to know that your child will not be attending practice on Saturday because they have a sixth grade family heritage project due that they’ve – Ha ha – left to the last minute.
- Share your life story in every email you send to the team. We’re very sorry your mother is in the hospital, that your wife didn’t do the groceries on time, that you burned the dinner and that your kids are grounded because they didn’t clean up their room. That’s TMI.
- Use the team email list to sell us anything, unless it’s actually for our team fundraiser.
- Complain about the coach or assistant coaches to all the parents on the team behind the coach’s back. This is awkward and immature. If you have a problem with the coaching or bench staff, wait your obligatory 24 hours and take it up directly with the coach, one-on-one, like a grown-up. If that fails to satisfy you, you have the right to seek out the appropriate association executive to help address your issue.
- Delete my email without reading it. It hurts my feelings.
Email is a very effective form of communication in our universe, and this is certainly true for hockey teams and the hockey season. Just be sure to make those emails as useful as possible and to not overdo it.
So, three cheers for the new hockey season – let the emails begin!