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Take Five with USA Sled Hockey’s Guy Gosselin

04/22/2014, 11:00am MDT
By USAHockey.com

When it comes to sports, fans and athletes have come to expect one constant – the unexpected.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports recently sat down with USA Sled Hockey’s Assistant Coach and two-time Olympian Guy Gosselin. In our exclusive Take 5 interview, Guy shared his thoughts on how both coaches and parents can best help their young athletes prepare for the unexpected.

Guy told us that he believes coaches can help athletes mentally prepare by discussing what to expect from an opponent, reviewing practice pointers and encouraging confidence.

“As a coach, you can almost control the atmosphere in the locker room by your actions,” said Guy.

Guy added that promoting physical conditioning and nutrition excellence among athletes can also go a long way when it comes to maximizing preparation. In his opinion, a lot of the so-called “little things” like warm-ups and hydration can add up to ensure big-time success.

Guy also reminded us that the unexpected “is inevitable in sport,” and hockey in particular is “a game of mistakes.” “Learning from and responding well to those mistakes is critical,” said Guy.

Parents of young athletes should also remember and stress these beliefs, advised Guy. Hockey involves many particular skills, and those skills take many years to properly master.

“Most players know when they’ve made a mistake,” said Guy. “As adults, it’s our responsibility to create a positive learning environment. It will only help motivate children and grow their love for the game.”

To read the full Take 5 interview with Guy, visit ResponsibleSports.com. Come back next month for another exclusive Take 5 interview!

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.

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Coincidentally, while Little League was paring to its finalists, U.S. Soccer announced a nationwide initiative to improve youth skill development. The centerpiece was a shift to small-sided game formats and field sizes to be phased in across the country by August 2017. As part of the new plan, American soccer at U6, U7 and U8 will be played 4v4 on a pitch approximately one-eighth the size of an adult soccer field. Nine- and 10-year-olds will play 7v7 on a one-quarter-scale pitch. Not until age 13 will players begin competing 11v11 on a regulation adult-sized pitch.

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