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24 Tips for Raising Young Hockey Players

07/22/2017, 7:30am MDT
By USA Hockey

Editor’s Note: The following was adapted from a list created by David Lynch, trainer for 8- and 9-year-old soccer players at Stockholm soccer club AIK.

Here are 24 tips for parents raising young hockey players:

  1. The kids pack and prepare their own hockey bag.
  2. Always be on time for practice.
  3. Make them put their dirty training undergarments in the wash.
  4. Tell them to give 100 percent at practice and games.
  5. The kids carry their own hockey bag in and out of the ice rink. That’s carry, not wheel.
  6. Teach them how to tighten their own skates.
  7. Play hockey with them, where they want and when they want to.
  8. Make them wear their equipment until it’s been outgrown, then buy new equipment.
  9. Buy them new skates when they need them, not when they want them.
  10. Buy second-hand skates and save yourself a fortune.
  11. Teach them not to hate other teams.
  12. Win or lose, remind them to love the game, and the game will love them back.
  13. They will respect teammates, the opposition, the refs, the other team’s coaches. If you don’t teach them this, the coach will have to do it.
  14. Let them dream they can be a Patrick Kane, but don’t give them any expectations.
  15. Blaming teammates, blaming the ref, blaming anything is out. This goes for the players and parents. Set a good example.
  16. Let them play hockey at home with a tennis ball.
  17. Take them to hockey games and let them watch the pros.
  18. Tell them hockey is for fun. Practice is for fun. If it isn’t fun for them, talk to the coach/club or move to another club.
  19. Encourage them to watch hockey training videos on YouTube and let them try and perfect some of the moves.
  20. Encourage them, support them, but never ever shout out instructions from the bleachers.
  21. Don’t car-coach after practices or games. It sucks the fun out of the game. They know if they played well or poorly.
  22. Encourage them to play other sports.
  23. Don’t try to “train” your kid. Take them out, ask what they want to do and let them do it.
  24. Tell your kids that you love watching them play.

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