skip navigation

When Players Give Their Personal Best, Everyone Wins

07/07/2014, 3:00pm MDT
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.

Recent News

Most Popular Articles

Going cross-ice in Canada

03/27/2017, 3:15pm MDT
By USA Hockey

March 27, 2017 | When USA Hockey implemented its American Development Model in 2009, one element of the nationwide age-appropriate training blueprint sparked more debate than any other: cross-ice hockey for 8U players. In the years since, an abundance of evidence, both data-driven and anecdotal, has proven the developmental advantages of cross-ice hockey.

This week, Hockey Canada announced that it too will introduce its players to the game through cross-ice play beginning in 2017-18.

“Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck touches, which result in more chances to practice puck control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill-development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada, in a release today. “Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren’t conducive to.”

The Grassroots Show on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 weighed in on the decision. Click the audio link below to hear how Canada is embracing cross-ice hockey for the coming season and beyond.

Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, appeared on the Grassroots Show to discuss the nationwide shift to cross-ice hockey, beginning this fall for 5- and 6-year-olds and expanding to all of Canada's Novice (8U) level in 2018-19.

“When you see 10 or 12 or 14 or 16 kids out on the ice in between periods and they’re playing 200-by-85 and 3 or 4 kids touch the puck in that whole six minutes, yet there’s people in the stands clapping and thinking it’s wonderful, I just can’t help but think about the 95 percent of the children that didn’t even touch the puck or get from one end of the rink to the other and I ask myself what are we doing when the opportunity is certainly there to have 30 kids on the ice playing cross-ice and everyone is having a much better opportunity to touch the puck, skate a shorter distance and really play. It just boggles my mind,” said Renney.

“We completely embrace, at the Initiation level and the Novice level, cross-ice hockey and we have mandated that in the Initiation program and we will mandate it across the country in Novice hockey.

“This is about the pure enjoyment of the game, and your first connection with it has to be something that’s pure fun, on a surface of play that is conducive to much more participation and joy.”

U.S. Defeats Finland, 4-2, in U18 Worlds Gold-Medal Game

04/23/2017, 1:45pm MDT
By USA Hockey

U.S. wins tournament-record 10th gold medal

Sydney Blackman Named 19th Brian Fishman Intern

04/25/2017, 8:45am MDT
By USA Hockey

Arizona Native To Begin Duties in June

Tag(s): Home  News