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When Players Give Their Personal Best, Everyone Wins

07/07/2014, 3:00pm EDT
By USAHockey.com

Victory is won on and off the ice when youth athletes strive to achieve their personal best. Encouraging kids to set individual goals and focus on maximum personal effort benefits both the player and the team in a variety of ways. Players who come to realize that personal development can feel even better than a win are mastery-focused athletes who build the confidence and initiative needed to succeed in sports and in life.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports, in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance, we offer the following helpful tips on how to encourage and inspire youth players to achieve their personal best:

  • Create a positive environment. Because meeting expectations plays a critical role in players developing self-confidence, a positive atmosphere focused on self-improvement lets athletes concentrate less on the importance of winning and more on the value of effort.
  • Set manageable goals. Help youth players identify and focus on areas that need improvement. Work with them to establish personal goals that will not only challenge their individual limits, but also inspire them to achieve new personal bests.
  • Offer support. Provide youth athletes with the resources, support and encouragement they need to perform at their maximum ability. When kids know they have the backing of parents, coaches and teammates, they’ll gain the confidence they need to strive for new levels of achievement.
  • Learn from challenges. Mistakes provide an opportunity for future success. So when players face setbacks and challenges, work with them to identify the lessons to be learned from the situation, as well as ways to quickly move forward.
  • Celebrate personal victories. While nothing quite compares to the rush of pride that comes from meeting or exceeding a personal goal, recognition of a job well done encourages youth players to strive for continued success.

The off-ice lessons from on-ice successes, setbacks and strivings deliver the true value of youth sports. The more coaches and parents can do to help interpret the on-ice experience for youth athletes, the more youth will benefit in later life.

At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility and integrity 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 good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the ice.

In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports program, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance.

©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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