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TAKE 5 with USA Hockey’s Kenny Rausch

By USAHockey.com, 05/13/14, 5:45AM MDT

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Youth sports provide a great avenue for your kids to build self-esteem and learn invaluable life lessons.  

They also provide an opportunity for parents and coaches to teach the importance of good sportsmanship to youth athletes. Our kids look to their role models for guidance, and when adults and athletes have a win-at-all-costs mentality, it can tarnish the game and bring out the worst in everyone. Good sportsmanship really does matter. 

Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports sat down with USA Hockey Manager of Youth Hockey Kenny Rausch to get his thoughts on the importance of good sportsmanship.

In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Kenny admitted that he “sometimes wonders” about the current state of sportsmanship in hockey– although he sees it as a positive “for the most part.”

“Most parents, players and coaches practice good sportsmanship, but the few who don’t are the ones who seem to be the loudest and generate news,” said Kenny. “There is no place in youth sports for bad sportsmanship and poor behavior at a youth sporting event.”

Kenny also recalled an inspiring example of good sportsmanship that came from a Maine player during warmup skate prior to the NCAA National Championship Game during his senior year as a student-athlete at Boston University. He told us he “will never forget that gesture.” Read his full Q&A for the story.  

As a longtime coach himself, Kenny understands the impact and influence coaches can have on good sportsmanship among youth athletes.

“Coaches can make sure that they set the example of good sportsmanship,” said Kenny. “They need to act appropriately and to realize that this is just a game, and use it to teach life lessons. Coaches should meet with players and parents to stress what appropriate behavior both on and off the ice is like.”

Kenny also believes that youth athletes themselves can do a lot to improve the state of sportsmanship in hockey, where “everyone out there is trying their best.”

“The number one thing that athletes can do to improve sportsmanship in hockey is to look in the mirror and realize that they aren’t perfect, and have never played a perfect game,” said Kenny.

To read the full TAKE 5 interview with Kenny, visit ResponsibleSports.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 responsibility 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 responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the ice.

Join the Responsible Sports movement!

©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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QUESTIONCan a referee call a High-Sticking penalty against a player if the player's stick hits the referee above the shoulder after the referee drops the puck during a face-off?

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The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.