The heart of every team and player experience is the coach. Coaches have a choice of
going down one of two paths. One is a win-based approach. The other is often
called developmental, but I prefer to call it "relationship- and experience-based coaching. "
Win-approach coaching is the most common by far (especially these days). It involves short benches, and scheduling more and more games to build a winning record. As a result, the dialogue between coach and players is one-sided and mostly
counter-productive. It can result in brawls during the post-game handshake line, reckless play, lack of
respect for the rules, opponents, officials, coaches and the game itself.
There are 53.8 million kids playing sports in the United States and, most of the time, when they talk about sports with their teammates and their parents, they begin with these two words: "Coach said... ."
It's not at all surprising, as research shows that, in the hierarchy of adults, coaches occupy the top spot in the minds and hearts of their players. Understanding this stature places quite a responsibility on youth and high school coaches. What they say, and do, really does matter.
Coaches occupy the top spot in the minds and hearts of their players. Understanding this stature places quite a responsibility on youth and high school coaches, who have a choice, says a longtime hockey coach, between being a transactional coach or a transformational coach.
Individual skills are the foundation for the next level of coaching, which are Game Skills. Many players are utilizing skills coaches to help them throughout the year. Goalies are often working with a goalie coach, and there are many programs devoted to off-ice training and strength training and conditioning. In order to take advantage of higher skilled players, youth and high school coaches are faced with a challenging proposition about how to best teach their players how to use these individual skills to play the game effectively as a team.
Just as head coaches rely on assistant coaches and private skills trainers they should also reach out to professionals and experts to help them with the professional mental training and on ice effectiveness training systems.
Parents often have a hard time understanding the extent and
breadth of youth sports that their kids are involved with. As the child
progresses the parents get advice from other parents, coaches and sport
organizations. At some point most parents’ start questioning the information
and seek answers elsewhere.
One of the most common questions is: Should my child
play one sport year-round?
This seems like a simple question but the answers are often
times conflicting so it depends on who is asked. Sometimes it is hard to get an
informed answer from someone who makes a living on training and coaching kids
The question of whether multiple sports or a single sport is the right path for a youth athlete is a tough one to answer, but parents shouldn't expect an honest answer from someone who makes a living on training and coaching kids in sports.
The six-game Stanley Cup conference semi-final series between the Minnesota Wild and the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks was really exciting, no matter how disappointed fans in Minnesota were at the outcome (the Blackhawks won the series, 4 games to 2).
As a longtime student and teacher of the game, I had to admire the level of play and skills on display night after night. It was high speed chess, as the home team coaches tried to match lines and get an edge over the other team.
A longtime student and teacher of the game of hockey says the Stanley Cup playoff series between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks taught some valuable lessons for youth coaches in terms of the system discipline and hard work the players showed at both ends of the ice.
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.
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.
Submitted by Hal Tearse on Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:05. | comments
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.
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.
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.