My mom used to love saying, with a healthy scoop of selfdeprecating humor, that "There’s a special place in heaven for goalie parents." I "thought" I knew then what she meant, but I’ve got a much, much deeper understanding now. After all, I’ve raised two daughters who were both athletes, and I’ve lived and died with each game. And neither of them were goalies, so I had it relatively easy.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. My oldest, MaryAlyssa, played lacrosse goalie for about three years. I’m not sure, as I’ve tried to purge any recollections from my gray matter. Goalies are often dismissed when they complain about mistreatment, by teammates, or coaches, and sometimes other parents. But when you see it happening yourself, it’s particularly galling. That’s when I really grasped the exquisite pressures that only goalie parents feel.
Over the years, though, I’ve found that a healthy sense of humor goes a long way in helping parents (and coaches) cope with those pressures. At times, laughter really can be the best medicine.