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Remembering Why We Play Sports

08/27/2014, 12:15pm MDT
By USAHockey.com

Reminiscing about the days when you played on your first sports team probably puts a big smile on your face. The friends you made, the coaches who helped train you, and all the fun you had taught you that there's more to the game than just winning or losing.

Unfortunately, many children today are not learning some of those same lessons because of a win-at-all-cost mentality growing throughout youth sports. For them, winning a game has become more important than the valuable lessons behind the game — the benefits of sportsmanship.

The good news is that many parents have noticed this change in attitude, and are working together to reinforce good sportsmanship in youth sports.

The 2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive Sportsmanship survey of 2,000 parents and coaches from across the country shows that half of the respondents believe sportsmanship has worsened since they were growing up. While winning is exciting and a great benefit to playing sports, winning ranks last in the lessons parents and coaches want youth athletes to learn.

Parents and coaches realize that they have a unique opportunity to teach their children valuable sports lessons, including:

  • Teamwork — Working together with fellow athletes to achieve a goal.
  • Sportsmanship — Teammates, opponents, parents, coaches and officials treating one another with respect.
  • Skills of Sport — Practicing to improve technique and skills.
  • Playing Hard — Giving 100% during practices and on game day.
  • Sacrifices — Committing to responsibilities and putting the team before the individual, even when tired or not in the mood.
  • Winning - Being a good winner and behaving appropriately when all the hard work and practice pays off with a victory.

When parents and coaches keep what’s really important in mind during the game, they help shift the spotlight onto the impact of good teamwork, hard work, sacrifices, friendships and specific athletic skills that are all more important than winning.

Download this helpful tool from Play Positive to remember why we play sports.

Post it on your fridge and share it with your friends!

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.

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 Play Positive™ program powered by Positive Coaching Alliance.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance 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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Reminiscing about the days when you played on your first sports team probably puts a big smile on your face. The friends you made, the coaches who helped train you, and all the fun you had taught you that there's more to the game than just winning or losing.

Unfortunately, many children today are not learning some of those same lessons because of a win-at-all-cost mentality growing throughout youth sports. For them, winning a game has become more important than the valuable lessons behind the game — the benefits of sportsmanship.

The good news is that many parents have noticed this change in attitude, and are working together to reinforce good sportsmanship in youth sports.

The 2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive Sportsmanship survey of 2,000 parents and coaches from across the country shows that half of the respondents believe sportsmanship has worsened since they were growing up. While winning is exciting and a great benefit to playing sports, winning ranks last in the lessons parents and coaches want youth athletes to learn.

Parents and coaches realize that they have a unique opportunity to teach their children valuable sports lessons, including:

  • Teamwork — Working together with fellow athletes to achieve a goal.
  • Sportsmanship — Teammates, opponents, parents, coaches and officials treating one another with respect.
  • Skills of Sport — Practicing to improve technique and skills.
  • Playing Hard — Giving 100% during practices and on game day.
  • Sacrifices — Committing to responsibilities and putting the team before the individual, even when tired or not in the mood.
  • Winning - Being a good winner and behaving appropriately when all the hard work and practice pays off with a victory.

When parents and coaches keep what’s really important in mind during the game, they help shift the spotlight onto the impact of good teamwork, hard work, sacrifices, friendships and specific athletic skills that are all more important than winning.

Download this helpful tool from Play Positive to remember why we play sports.

Post it on your fridge and share it with your friends!

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.

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 Play Positive™ program powered by Positive Coaching Alliance.

©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance 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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Aug. 25, 2016 | Body-checking is a skill, not unlike skating, shooting and stickhandling, and it’s a critical skill to teach. Rhode Island Hockey recently gave it special emphasis with a free on-ice checking clinic open to all players in the 12U, 14U and 16U age classifications. Hosted at Schneider Arena with help from Providence College men’s hockey head coach Nate Leaman and Roger Grillo from USA Hockey, the two-hour clinic welcomed more than 100 players for station-based instruction in the fine art of giving and receiving a body check properly.

“Body contact is sometimes an under-taught skill, but there’s so much value in teaching it, both in terms of helping young players become more successful and also in terms of injury prevention,” said Grillo. “It was great to team up with the Rhode Island coaches and offer a learning opportunity that’ll pay dividends for these kids throughout their hockey careers.”

The event was so successful that Rhode Island Hockey will host a second session Sept. 8 at Boss Ice Arena on the University of Rhode Island campus in Kingston. Led by Kevin Sullivan, Rhode Island Hockey’s American Development Model director, the clinic will likely become an annual offering to enhance players’ skill and contact confidence, especially for 13-year-olds progressing into their first season of 14U hockey.

“The initial idea came from a parent asking if we offer any checking-specific training for players transitioning from 12U to 14U,” said Bob Larence, president of Rhode Island Hockey.

There’s a component of body-contact training that happens at every level, from cross-ice 8U to small-area battle drills for older players, but the idea of a body checking-specific teaching event for tweens and teens seemed a beneficial complement to that team-level training, so Rhody ran with it.

“We all thought it was a great idea, and ultimately, it became a great collaboration with Rhode Island Hockey, USA Hockey and the local colleges – Providence, URI and Brown,” said Larence.

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