A good youth coach doesn’t focus only on victories and defeats when it comes to teaching lessons. There is a great deal of learning that comes from defeats or failure.
One of the main skills that a good hockey coach needs to learn is to pick his players up from defeats and how to use them as a learning experience.
Set an example – do not let the players start asking about the whereabouts of the coaches – what does it tell your athletes.
Setting goals and challenges is important, e.g. goals in game, seasonal performance, range of skills. Having done this you need to set milestones as well.
Listen to your players – authoritarian generally only works in the short term. Although you must still be firm, fair and strict where necessary. Listening to players can be a great source of information. Knowing their thoughts, how they feel and learning about their level of confidence can be a game changer.
Show them you care, and not only about hockey. Learn about them and what makes them tick, their habits outside hockey, how they are performing in school, know about their families. Youth coaches that have this “trait”, win in leadership and loyalty from the team.
Lead by the example when it comes to discipline with the game, even if you disagree “it is life”
Winning is not the only thing whilst we require your best we also need them to be “excellent in the moment” Winning should be seen as a bonus to effort, hard work and playing as a team.
Be a hockey coach who can manage the players’ mood and spirit in the right way. Don’t let them get frustrated when something doesn’t go as expected. Don’t criticize or point fingers, specially with young players. Lead by the example, give support and positive reinforcement.
Winning and losing is part of the game. Learning how to manage the match outcome is part of the art of coaching.