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Team Culture Is Reflected In Its Attention To Detail


Top teams have a strong culture which is nurtured by coaches and team officials.

It could be described as a "How we do business, here" attitude, one deeply rooted in the leaders' values and beliefs about what is important to run a successful youth sports program.

A program's values and beliefs are on display every day in the form of team communications, attention to detail, group dynamics, and the decisions that the coaches make.  

Top teams have a strong culture which is nurtured by coaches and team officials. A longtime hockey coach explains how a team's culture and values is often reflected in its attention to the smallest detail.

The Path To Athletic Success: Play More, Compete Less

 

Mikaela Shiffrin is a young woman on the USA Olympic ski team who, I predict, we all will be hearing a lot about at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia in February. She is a terrific ski racer and what is so interesting is how she learned to be so steady and so fast. 

As the story of Olympic skiing hopeful Mikaela Shiffrin tells us, the path to athletic success may be in practicing more and competing less.

Coaching Comes From the Heart

 

At the conclusion of most games, the final score dictates how players, parents and coaches feel about the performance of the team and individual players. When the team wins, everybody must have had a good game, and of course, the opposite is also true. Actually, the final score of the game tells us nothing about how individual players performed.

When winning is the primary focus, it results in a cascading series of decisions by coaches that can undermine the players' experience and development. At a minimum, complacency sets in for teams winning consistently, and panic takes over if the scores are disappointing.

Misplaced Priorities: Parents Should Spend More Time Helping Kids Prepare For Life, Less Time Preparing For Next Game

 

American athletics has become so all consuming that many parents have lost sight of the reality of youth sports. What started a hundred years ago in the New York public school system has now morphed into big business, which is feeding unrealistic expectations for parents and kids alike.

Here are a couple of examples, just from today: 

American athletics has become so all consuming that many parents have lost sight of the reality of youth sports. What started a hundred years ago in the New York public school system has now morphed into big business and unrealistic expectations for parents and kids alike.

"Thoughts From the Bench" and Defending The Blue Line: A New E-Book On Amateur Hockey And A Great Charity

I am thrilled to announce the publication of my new e-book, "Thoughts From the Bench."

The book is a collection of my columns for Minnesota Hockey and takes a refreshing and common sense look at amateur ice hockey from my perspective as USA Hockey Associate Coach in Chief/Minnesota and past Coach In Chief for Minnesota Hockey, and on my 40 years coaching hockey at all levels, including USA Hockey elite level programs.

"Thoughts From The Bench" is a new e-book by longtime hockey coach and MomsTEAM blogger Hal Tearse with advice for hockey coaches, parents and players with the proceeds donated to Defending the Blue Line.

Making Youth Sports Safer: Moms Have The Power!

Another high school football player dies after a head on head collision. A young ilfe cut short way to soon. A tragedy for sure. Education, better coaching, and impact devices in helmets can only do so much. Officials can only do so much, but in many cases not enough.  Moms cheering at football game

One of our three high school hockey goalies has already gotten a concussion during "Captains Practice." The official season starts in November. Hope he recovers in time.

Unless those with all the power in youth sports intervene to demand changes, the status quo will continue, and more and more kids will be seriously injured, some lasting for a lifetime. Who has the power to make youth sports safer? Moms, says longtime hockey and lacrosse coach, Hal Tearse.

Is Education Enough in the Battle Against Concussions?

The growing knowledge and awareness about concussions in contact sports has brought this important issue to the forefront of these games. From youth all the way through professional levels brain injury continues to plague players and teams. 

Winston Churchill is quoted as saying that "Americans eventually will do the right thing, after they have tried everything else first." That may be true when it comes to concussion safety, says longtime Minnesota hockey coach and referee, Hal Tearse.

Why Tougher Rules for Dangerous Hits in High School Hockey Will Not Work

 

As I watch the Stanley Cup playoffs I am reminded each spring about the ever-changing rules in hockey: One set for the regular season, and one set for playoffs. Or should I say one rule book and two or more interpretations of the enforcement of the rules in the book. Clearly there is much more leeway from the rule book during the playoffs. Players tripped on breakaways do not draw a penalty. Obvious rule violations are ignored. But lets be clear about the NHL: the league is an entertainment business that happens to play hockey. Fans like the brutality and violence. It sells tickets so it is allowed to happen. 

Tougher rules against checking from behind and blind-side hits in hockey won't make the sport safer. The problem is a lack of training, certification, education and compensation for on-ice officials, argues one longtime Minnesota hockey official and coach.

The End of The Hockey Season Is Time to Reflect, Both for Coaches and Players

At the end of each season all players should take some time to review their performance and quality of experience playing the game. This process transcends the win loss record of the team and looks at individual development and overall quality of the experience. There are no so called “life lessons” on the score board and only through intentional review and discussions in the proper context can the real benefits of playing athletics be realized.

All top-level organizations have feedback mechanisms to help individuals develop. Without this type of communication and process between player and coach individual player development is likely to be slowed. This is very true in athletics as well as in the business world.

Concussions in Hockey: A Dark Cloud Hanging Over the Sport With A Simple Solution: Play By The Rules

January 19th  was a great day for ice hockey in North America with the return of the NHL, and especially in my state, which celebrated our annual "Hockey Day in Minnesota." Today, two high school teams played outdoors on Lake Pokegema in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers mens' hockey team played North Dakota, and then the Minnesota Wild played their season opener - all on TV.  Across the state, youth and high school teams were also playing the game they love. But, while it was a day to celebrate hockey, it is also a reminder of the dark cloud that hangs over the game: concussions.

The end of the NHL lockout and the annual Hockey Day in Minnesota should have been cause for celebration, but for a longtime Minnesota high school hockey coach and official the hockey-fest was also a reminder that concussions continue to be a dark cloud hanging over the sport.
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