page contents
skip navigation
Home Players & Parents Coaches Officials Team USA Membership Safety About Help

TAKE 5 with USA Hockey’s Matt Herr

08/18/2014, 2:00pm MDT
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

Recent News

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

Most Popular Articles

TRENDING: Right-Sized Youth Sports

09/01/2015, 9:15am MDT
By USA Hockey

Sept. 1, 2015 | More than 40,000 spectators, plus a national television audience, watched the Little League World Series this past Sunday on a glorious afternoon in Pennsylvania. There were smiles, cheers, entertainment and the noticeable absence of demand for those 12- and 13-year-olds to pitch from 60 feet, six inches or run 90 feet between the bases like their professional baseball heroes.

Right-sized baseball and softball fields, along with age-appropriate rule modifications, have been accepted wisdom in youth baseball for more than 50 years.

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.

“Our number one goal is to improve our players down the road, and these initiatives will help us do that,” said Tab Ramos, U.S. Soccer’s youth technical director. “In general, we would like for players to be able to process information faster, and when they are in this (new) environment, they are going to learn to do that. Fast forward 10 years, and there are thousands of game situations added to a player’s development.”

With this change, American soccer will join sports like baseball, basketball, hockey and tennis, all of which have embraced the skill-development benefits of age-appropriate playing dimensions and competition formats (see chart below).

Those benefits are at the core of USA Hockey’s American Development Model, which was recently praised by the Sports Business Journal as a “trailblazing program.”

Segmenting Your Season

08/25/2015, 1:15pm MDT
By Michael Caples

Develop Talent and Character with Danton Cole

08/25/2015, 1:00pm MDT
By Dan Marrazza

Tag(s): Home  News