When it comes to fostering a youth athlete’s love for hockey, there may be no one more influential than their coach. Coaches have an opportunity to impact how players feel about the game of hockey every time they step on the ice. Whether it is helping players develop their skills, using situations to teach life lessons or simply sharing their own love of the game, coaches should strive to create a fun, positive atmosphere that will leave a lasting impression on today’s youth hockey players.
There are many ways to discuss and explain team culture. If you Google the term, you will get 42 million hits. Team culture applies to sports, business or any group that has a common goal and purpose. We all know situations where the culture was bad and everybody was interested in “me rather than we”. As coaches and parents, you are responsible for your team culture whether it is good or bad.
Hockey is a team game, and with very few exceptions, it takes all six players on the ice to create the goal-scoring stats that everybody seems to want. As I tell my players and their parents at the beginning of the season, “The only thing certain about statistics is that they are wrong.”
As the off season is now here two articles share some ideas for parents of youth players. The first is “Not all Kids are Hockey Superstars”. The second is “The Burnout Factor”. Both articles deal with the reality of less than one percent of kids advance to the top levels of college and less advance to the professional ranks. The kids that advance are the top level athletes and no amount of training will make an average athlete an elite athlete. Most top level hockey players also excel at other sports because they are good athletes to start with. So have your kids play other sports in the off season and enjoy the summer doing family trips and other activities. Hal Tearse Coach in Chief, Minnesota Hockey April 2011
Year-round training and intense pressure to excel seems to be driving young athletes away from their game. Have we micromanaged the fun out of sports? Tralee Pearce reports BYLINE: TRALEE PEARCE