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TAKE 5 with USA Hockey’s Matt Herr

08/18/2014, 2:00pm EDT
By USAHockey.com

From lifelong friendships to powerful life lessons to everlasting memories of thrilling victories, there are many reasons for your kids to play sports.

As a parent, you can encourage your kids to participate in, or at least try, youth sports. With so many other factors and activities pulling them in different directions, it’s important to properly frame and discuss the many rewards of playing sports.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ sat down with USA Hockey coach Matt Herr to get his thoughts on the importance of playing sports along with the life lessons he learned.

In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Matt, who serves as Regional Manager of the American Development Model, told us that he believes the biggest life lesson taught by sports is to fully focus on and address the details – because they always add up to something bigger.

“Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden used to show his teams how to wear their socks,” said Matt. “In sports, it’s about doing the little things correctly in order to accomplish something bigger in the end. In order to succeed, you need to take care of the details.”

Matt added that sports also teach kids to process and come back from setbacks.

“We will all fail at some point in our lives,” said Matt. “The hope is that we can learn from that failure and become better, whether in school, at our jobs, or in hockey.”

Matt stressed that it’s also important for both coaches and parents to help their kids deal with those failures and setbacks after they happen.

“Kids know when they have not played well in a game,” said Matt. “Parents should be supportive, and once the dust has settled (not on the car ride home), help their child understand what steps can be taken in order to improve for next time.”

Matt told us his parents were always there for him when it came to offering this kind of strong, smart support. He also recalled a particularly powerful example of that parental support and dedication.

“My mom would put on the goalie pads at times and let me shoot on her in the driveway,” remembered Matt. “Having now played at all levels from Mites to the NHL, I wish I had that time back when my mom was shooting tennis balls at me pretending she was Ron Duguay (New York Rangers) and I was Billy Smith (New York Islanders) playing for the Stanley Cup.”

To Matt, this is just another example of the game of hockey not only teaching many life lessons, but  also offering a very compelling reason for kids to play, no matter how far their career advances.

“The number one reason: it is FUN!,” said Matt.

To read the full TAKE 5 interview with Matt, visit PlayPositive.com. And 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 sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, 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.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

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From lifelong friendships to powerful life lessons to everlasting memories of thrilling victories, there are many reasons for your kids to play sports.

As a parent, you can encourage your kids to participate in, or at least try, youth sports. With so many other factors and activities pulling them in different directions, it’s important to properly frame and discuss the many rewards of playing sports.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ sat down with USA Hockey coach Matt Herr to get his thoughts on the importance of playing sports along with the life lessons he learned.

In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Matt, who serves as Regional Manager of the American Development Model, told us that he believes the biggest life lesson taught by sports is to fully focus on and address the details – because they always add up to something bigger.

“Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden used to show his teams how to wear their socks,” said Matt. “In sports, it’s about doing the little things correctly in order to accomplish something bigger in the end. In order to succeed, you need to take care of the details.”

Matt added that sports also teach kids to process and come back from setbacks.

“We will all fail at some point in our lives,” said Matt. “The hope is that we can learn from that failure and become better, whether in school, at our jobs, or in hockey.”

Matt stressed that it’s also important for both coaches and parents to help their kids deal with those failures and setbacks after they happen.

“Kids know when they have not played well in a game,” said Matt. “Parents should be supportive, and once the dust has settled (not on the car ride home), help their child understand what steps can be taken in order to improve for next time.”

Matt told us his parents were always there for him when it came to offering this kind of strong, smart support. He also recalled a particularly powerful example of that parental support and dedication.

“My mom would put on the goalie pads at times and let me shoot on her in the driveway,” remembered Matt. “Having now played at all levels from Mites to the NHL, I wish I had that time back when my mom was shooting tennis balls at me pretending she was Ron Duguay (New York Rangers) and I was Billy Smith (New York Islanders) playing for the Stanley Cup.”

To Matt, this is just another example of the game of hockey not only teaching many life lessons, but  also offering a very compelling reason for kids to play, no matter how far their career advances.

“The number one reason: it is FUN!,” said Matt.

To read the full TAKE 5 interview with Matt, visit PlayPositive.com. And 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 sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, 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.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

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