As a hockey parent, we all want our kids to be on teams that are prepared and encouraged to win games, tournaments and competitions at every level. Winning can be a crucial part of a player’s development journey and success at any level helps breed confidence for the future but at the most critical years of development, winning shouldn’t be the ultimate aim. The individual development of the young players should be the priority, meaning the decisions that aid the development of all players at the cost of an isolated result should be taken.
It’s about adjusting how we look at players from a short term view to something much longer over the course of a season and multiple years as they continue to grow and develop. As long as players are engaged, learning and having fun they will have a desire to keep coming back regardless of the result. So, how much do we push winning?
“At this time of year, early in the season, I think that’s a question every coach should ask themselves,” said Ian Taylor, Executive Director of the OMHA. “Hopefully at this point they’ve planned out their year, they recognize the age group they’re working with, the level they’re working with, and have got some type of plan or idea of what they want to teach these kids. What are the skills they want to teach? Where do we want to get to?”