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Why Play Sports?

By USAHockey.com, 08/12/14, 4:15PM MDT

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The lifelong friends you’ve made. The coaches you will never forget. The fun you had with the teammates who taught you there is more to sports than wins and losses. These are just a few of the reasons why you wouldn’t trade your youth sports experiences for anything in the world.

But will your children enjoy similar experiences?

Unfortunately, many of today’s children aren’t building memories such as these. They’re participating less and less when it comes to youth sports. Why?

Maybe the “win-at-all-costs” mentality that today pervades all levels of youth sports has taken much of the fun out of the game. Maybe the relentless pull of new technology is responsible for luring our kids away from fields of play. Whatever the reasons, it is your job as a parent to encourage your kids to participate in, or at least try, youth sports.

If you don’t attempt to get your kids involved, not only will you assure that they miss out on very special sports memories, but you will also inadvertently perpetuate the general degradation of their health.

To help get you thinking about the ways to frame and discuss the many rewards of participating in sports to your kids, Liberty Mutual Insurance and Positive Coaching Alliance have outlined four of the central benefits of youth sports participation:

Fitness – Youth sports provide fun reasons for your kids to get off of the couch and get active.

Friendships – Teammates often become life-long best friends.

Wisdom – From learning how to overcome individual challenges to how to succeed on a team, youth sports is the platform from which many of life’s most valuable lessons are learned.

Focus – The mental preparation that it takes to succeed in youth sports provides the groundwork for being successful both in school and later in life.

For more advice and resources to help promote sportsmanship and a more positive youth sports experience to your kids, visit PlayPositive.com.

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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The lifelong friends you’ve made. The coaches you will never forget. The fun you had with the teammates who taught you there is more to sports than wins and losses. These are just a few of the reasons why you wouldn’t trade your youth sports experiences for anything in the world.

But will your children enjoy similar experiences?

Unfortunately, many of today’s children aren’t building memories such as these. They’re participating less and less when it comes to youth sports. Why?

Maybe the “win-at-all-costs” mentality that today pervades all levels of youth sports has taken much of the fun out of the game. Maybe the relentless pull of new technology is responsible for luring our kids away from fields of play. Whatever the reasons, it is your job as a parent to encourage your kids to participate in, or at least try, youth sports.

If you don’t attempt to get your kids involved, not only will you assure that they miss out on very special sports memories, but you will also inadvertently perpetuate the general degradation of their health.

To help get you thinking about the ways to frame and discuss the many rewards of participating in sports to your kids, Liberty Mutual Insurance and Positive Coaching Alliance have outlined four of the central benefits of youth sports participation:

Fitness – Youth sports provide fun reasons for your kids to get off of the couch and get active.

Friendships – Teammates often become life-long best friends.

Wisdom – From learning how to overcome individual challenges to how to succeed on a team, youth sports is the platform from which many of life’s most valuable lessons are learned.

Focus – The mental preparation that it takes to succeed in youth sports provides the groundwork for being successful both in school and later in life.

For more advice and resources to help promote sportsmanship and a more positive youth sports experience to your kids, visit PlayPositive.com.

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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One issue that continues to arise is the abuse of officials and the effects it has on retention. To counter and help improve the environment, USA Hockey’s rules sub-committee has been focused and committed to solutions.

This sub-committee was established to define and recommend programs to confront this problem. As a result of this, a first step was taken at the recent Annual Congress to amend the Zero Tolerance Policy. Several proposals were made and adopted by the Board of Directors to constructively confront this problem. 

These changes strongly recommend things like game officials introducing themselves to the coach during warm-ups in order to start the communication process and set some guidelines for in-game communication.

The parents/spectators section was amended to clearly state the behavioral expectations of this group. Another strong recommendation added to this section was to establish a parent/spectator monitor by each local youth hockey team for all games. Ideally, this monitor will address and de-escalate parent/spectator behavior before it impacts the game and the officials have to stop play. 

Also added, a reminder to administrators that they are responsible for taking any appropriate disciplinary action towards parents/spectators that are removed from a game as a result of a violation of the Zero Tolerance Policy.

Navigating New Norms

As we all still grapple with the effects of the pandemic, the Officiating Program has been working to develop effective ways to fulfill our educational responsibilities when it comes to the annual registration process. To that end, the only process that provides educational value and a safe environment is with virtual seminars. A format and curriculum was developed and approved by the District RIC’s. This was distributed to all of the District RIC’s for implementation as they see fit.  Due to the many different and ever-changing restrictions around the country, if the situation arises where in-person seminars can be held then the District RIC can also schedule them as needed. The Virtual Seminar Program is the best solution for this season. As situations change, the Officials Section will revisit this program for all future seasons.

ZoomCasts

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Mentor Project

Getting officials from their first year to their third season is a key focus for the Officiating Education Program. Helping officials understand the basics of the craft and giving them a supportive resource is what the Mentor Project is all about. USA Hockey is helping local Officials Associations put together the framework where a mentor gets matched with a new official and works with them not only in their first month or second, but is a constant resource for the new official throughout their first couple of seasons. Learning about how to read the rule book, navigate the challenges of getting assignments and become a proficient official are all goals of the mentor project.   

Again, we hope everyone is safe and sane as we prepare for a different landscape of hockey – but we are excited to welcome it, and you, back to the game.

See you at the rink!