When kids play hockey it teaches them a lot more skills than simply shooting a puck or making the correct pass. While coaches do a great job of teaching the fundamental and core skills there is an intangible amount of learning that happens away from the action. Participation in sports gives the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons along the way and they come from a combination of the coach, parent and player. Kids are enrolled into minor hockey for a number of reasons and can learn these lessons along the way.
A hockey team is made up of different types of people and personalities. Within that dynamic players will learn how to work with others, when to be a leader and how to solve problems. It also means that you aren’t just playing for yourself but for everyone is in the locker room. Players rely on each other to work together towards the common team goal. Players also learn about listening to coaches and how to understand and follow instructions.
With practices and games scheduled throughout the week it’s up to players to find time complete their homework in between and make sure they leave enough time to get to the rink on time. Using time management to plan ahead and prioritize what is important is a valuable skill that players can carry on as they start to find jobs when they are older.
In hockey, players learn how to win with grace and lose with dignity. Treating others around you the way you want to be treated is an easy first step and the basis of respect. Learning about the integrity of the game and making the right decisions promotes responsibility to act in a respectful manner to those around you. Players will learn the importance of respecting the coaches, referees and parents around them. They can carry this to the classroom and into life by showing respect to their communities and the other adult figures in their lives.
Kids will fail more than they will succeed when it comes to learning a new skill. It takes dedication and focus to keep trying and to continue improving to reach their goals. Making this time commitment to themselves and the team shows that it takes hard work in order to find success. Seeing it through to the end of the season and going through the ups and downs are all a part of the journey.
A player’s body language can show a lot about how they are feeling. How do they react after they made a mistake? What happens when a teammate turns the puck over? There will be times when players become frustrated when a whistle doesn’t go their way or a penalty gets called on their team. Being able to manage your emotions and dealing with pressure is an important skill not just in hockey but in life. If kids realize that there are consequences for their actions it could give them an extra second of pause before they react.
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