3 TIPS FOR A POSITIVE PRACTICE
1. Keep your practice upbeat and energetic.
This will help keep the players engaged and focused! Young players love high energy levels. It helps keep their attention; otherwise, they may tune out. Maintaining their attention and concentration will minimize fooling around, questions, and time spent re-explaining things.
2. Make sure the skills and drills you teach are fun and relevant.
Youngsters tend to switch off when they start to get bored. Mix up practices with fun games and drills specifically designed to involve the skill being developed. Try to make sure your practices are a little different from each other, keep them on their toes (or blades)!
Instead of always giving verbal instructions, try showing them how it’s done by being active and demonstrating the skills that you are teaching. They’ll be more engaged and receptive, and will appreciate seeing you involved.
6 TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE COACHING
1. Be positive.
Negativity and shouting won’t get you anywhere; your players will only get frustrated and shut down! Be patient, encouraging, focus on providing positive feedback, and keep your cool. If your players do something incorrectly, try reinforcing the correct way to do it rather than calling out flaws. Your players will be more receptive to your advice, and they’ll give more of an effort if they feel encouraged and are having fun.
2. Be realistic.
These are young minor hockey players, not NHL hockey stars. Some kids might dream to be, but most are really there to learn and have fun, so avoid putting too much unrealistic pressure on them.
3. Keep everyone involved.
Divide into small groups or use drills that involve all the players. Avoid players needing to sit out or having to wait too long for their turn, and make sure everyone feels equal, valued, and part of the team!
4. Be patient with parents.
Be open and receptive to their questions or concerns. Let them know that you’ve taken on the role to volunteer to help their children and that their cooperative support is important to your success, and the success of the team.
5. Everyone is different.
Everyone learns in different ways and at different paces, so be patient and take note of your players’ learning styles.
6. Be a good role model.
Young players will look up to you. Your attitude and the way you present yourself sets an important example for these young players, so keep your cool and set a positive example.
4 TIPS FOR BEING A GREAT HOCKEY FAN
As a hockey fan, you set the energy and tone of the game! You are there to provide support, celebrate the players’ growth, and keep things fun and upbeat!
Here are a few tips to help you be a great hockey fan for our minor hockey players:
1. Applaud good plays by both teams.
Refrain from heckling and trash talking. This creates a negative environment where nobody can have fun.
2. Praise effort and keep it positive and upbeat.
Keep cheers and chants appropriate and respectful to players and their families.
3. At the end of each game, act the same way win or lose.
When a team has a loss, they feel down enough. Focus on celebrating their effort and what they did well.
Respect the coaches and referees, and remember, you are at the game to provide support and positive energy. Keep your cool!
5 TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR PLAYER HANDLE A LOSS
Losing is inevitable. How you respond to the losses will have a big influence on how the players respond as well.
Here are 6 tips for helping your player handle a tough loss:
1. Don’t focus on the outcome.
After the coaches have their time with the team after the game, greet your player warmly with encouragement and praise for their effort. Don’t mention the score or the loss, or what they could have done differently. Also, a big hug can go a long way.
2. Say “I’m proud of you.”
There is nothing more important for your player to hear, especially after a tough loss. Kids need to hear appreciation and validation. Praise their effort; emphasize the values they displayed along with their teammates, and focus on the positive moments of the game.
3. Avoid re-living the game.
One common mistake parents make after games, especially losses, is immediately replaying the game in the car on the way home. This is never a good idea, because emotions are still too raw. Your intentions might be good, but give it some time and let emotions calm down. Once they have, try asking them 1) if they had fun, 2) if they gave it their all, and 3) if they learned anything.
4. Skip the blame game.
Never blame your player for the game’s outcome, and don’t blame their teammate’s errors, the coaches, or officials. It’s very easy to talk negatively about teammates, coaches, and officials after a loss. This sets a bad example and completely undermines the values of the sport.
5. Focus on tomorrow.
It’s just a game! Remind your player that every day is new a opportunity, and focus on the lessons that can be taken away from the loss, rather than on the loss itself.
5 TIPS FOR TREATING REFEREES RIGHT
1. Treat them with respect. Players watch the way we treat the referees, and we are their role models. We should teach players to respect others and to communicate without losing tempers. Referees deserve to be treated with respect. Talk to them.
2. Communicate and learn their names. Referees will respect and appreciate your effort at calm communication. The chances of them responding or listening increases if they hear their name and are spoken to in a friendly way.
3. Apply the golden rule. If you treat the referees like you would want to be treated, you’ll develop a quality relationship with them and the games will be more enjoyable for everyone!
4. If you must question their call, never yell; remain calm, listen to the ref and respect their authority and decision. Nobody responds to being yelled at or treated poorly. Yelling will not get you anywhere, and will only set a negative example for your players.