page contents
skip navigation

Encourage Your Young Athlete To Prepare For The Unexpected

04/08/2014, 3:30pm MDT
By USAHockey.com

In sports, there is one given – expect the unexpected.

As fans, this excitement of not knowing what will happen next is a big reason why we attend, watch and talk about sporting events. For athletes, the unexpected, while thrilling, demands proper preparation to be successful.

From in-season practices to offseason cross-training, preparation helps our young athletes build a rock-solid foundation for game-day success. It’s what they do to get ready for competition that often makes the difference when the unexpected happens.

But how can you help your young athletes prepare for the unexpected? How can you convince them of the power of preparation?

Liberty Mutual Insurance, in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance, offers the following helpful tips and tactics for preparing for the unexpected. And we invite you and your young athlete to learn more at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports website.  

  • Envision only success.  Encourage them to visualize a stress-free, successful performance – no matter what scenario unfolds. By “practicing” visualization, meditation and other mental training techniques, they’ll give their minds a powerful pre-game “workout.”
  • All-out effort.  There are many parts of the game they can’t control, but they can control their effort and attitude.  Remind them that win or lose, what is more important is whether t they gave 100% effort!
  • Keep at it. Tell them the mind is a muscle. Like any muscle, it has to be exercised to grow strong. And like any other part of their game, the more they work their mind, the stronger it gets, making it easier for them to adjust and adapt on the fly.
  • Switch it up.  Just like your children can “cross-train” by playing multiple sports, they can vary and “change up” their practice routine. They can try practicing with different equipment, or work on using their “off hand”. They can also prepare for different roles, such as a reserve player training to take on a starter’s responsibilities.
  • Situational learning. Encourage your kids to practice in different, even difficult, conditions and situations. Practicing in different conditions will help them adapt to a tough game day environment, challenge their normal routine, and demand game-like focus. Activities like simulating crowd noise with a sound system will force them to focus and “zone in” on performing their best.

With these simple tips from Liberty Mutual Insurance, we hope that your child can always stay prepared for the unexpected.

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field. Join the Responsible Sports movement!

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.9

Recent News

Most Popular Articles

Mobile Coach Practice Plan & Activity Tracker Tutorials Launch

08/25/2016, 4:00pm MDT
By USAHockey.com

See how to use these innovative tools

Final U.S. World Cup Roster Announced

05/27/2016, 4:00pm MDT
By USAHockey.com

Highlighting the seven players named Friday are five Olympians

Body-Checking Clinic Builds Contact Confidence

08/25/2016, 3:30pm MDT
By USA Hockey

Aug. 25, 2016 | Body-checking is a skill, not unlike skating, shooting and stickhandling, and it’s a critical skill to teach. Rhode Island Hockey recently gave it special emphasis with a free on-ice checking clinic open to all players in the 12U, 14U and 16U age classifications. Hosted at Schneider Arena with help from Providence College men’s hockey head coach Nate Leaman and Roger Grillo from USA Hockey, the two-hour clinic welcomed more than 100 players for station-based instruction in the fine art of giving and receiving a body check properly.

“Body contact is sometimes an under-taught skill, but there’s so much value in teaching it, both in terms of helping young players become more successful and also in terms of injury prevention,” said Grillo. “It was great to team up with the Rhode Island coaches and offer a learning opportunity that’ll pay dividends for these kids throughout their hockey careers.”

The event was so successful that Rhode Island Hockey will host a second session Sept. 8 at Boss Ice Arena on the University of Rhode Island campus in Kingston. Led by Kevin Sullivan, Rhode Island Hockey’s American Development Model director, the clinic will likely become an annual offering to enhance players’ skill and contact confidence, especially for 13-year-olds progressing into their first season of 14U hockey.

“The initial idea came from a parent asking if we offer any checking-specific training for players transitioning from 12U to 14U,” said Bob Larence, president of Rhode Island Hockey.

There’s a component of body-contact training that happens at every level, from cross-ice 8U to small-area battle drills for older players, but the idea of a body checking-specific teaching event for tweens and teens seemed a beneficial complement to that team-level training, so Rhody ran with it.

“We all thought it was a great idea, and ultimately, it became a great collaboration with Rhode Island Hockey, USA Hockey and the local colleges – Providence, URI and Brown,” said Larence.

Tag(s): Home  Players & Parents  News