Youth athletes, like everyone else, need to be praised. Parents who support their youth athletes by regularly showing love and encouragement are helping them become better team players. Plus, children who are frequently encouraged are more optimistic, better able to handle criticism, more coachable and more likely to listen and respond without resistance.
Children learn to better take constructive criticism over time. So, when providing your child with advice, it’s helpful to mix specific, truthful pieces of praise with each critique. Honesty is critical, because children sense insincere praise, and might lose respect for the person offering it and refuse to listen. To help your child become a better team player, for example, you might say, “You usually do a great job passing the ball, but I noticed that you only passed it once in the first quarter. I know you want to be a good sport, so I’m sure you can be a great team player next time.”
Honest and constructive criticism should always be provided in a way that is kid-friendly and useful. For example, instead of simply telling your child to "pay attention," which offers nothing actionable, say, “When you have a hard time staying focused, try giving yourself a pep-talk to get re-focused.”
Supporting your youth athlete in these ways will help him or her learn to love sports and have a more positive experience. Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™, in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance, created this tool for ways you can encourage your child during and after the game.
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.
QUESTION: In a game with two referees, during a stoppage both teams accidentally send six skaters out during the line change (both teams have their goalkeeper in). The ref dropping the puck does not notice both teams have too many players on the ice and drops the puck. The attacking team scores after the face-off and the goal stands. Is this the correct call?
ANSWER: A team cannot score a legal goal while having too many players on the ice. However, since it is the responsibility of the officials to ensure the proper number of players are on the ice prior to dropping the puck, the team with the extra players should not be penalized.
QUESTION: I’m allowed to have 18 skaters dress for a game, but can I have alternates that are allowed to practice and not play in games? My team is the lowest available level in our program for our age. I have two players that are on the bubble and would like them to continue to develop as an alternate on top of my 18 skaters and 1 goalie. Is this allowed?
ANSWER: The Ask the Official forum is dedicated to the Playing Rules of USA Hockey, which do not govern practices. Please submit your question to your local hockey association, USAH Affiliate Body, or District Registrar for an answer to this question. Contact information can be found in the USA Hockey Annual Guide.
QUESTION: After the whistle a player takes 4 - 6 strides towards an opponent, launching himself at him in a violent fashion but not making contact due to the opponent moving out of the way. What penalty would/should be called if any? Charging is not an option based on the wording of contact having to be made. Would Attempt to Injure be a valid in the situation?
ANSWER: Contact must be made to assess a player a penalty for Charging. However, if the game officials determine that the player was deliberately attempting to injure the opponent, then a Match penalty could be assessed.
QUESTION: When is the puck considered tied up and the whistle should be blown stopping play. Does it have to be covered up or can he have it frozen between his arm and chest.
ANSWER: Play should be stopped when the officials determine that the goalkeeper has possession and control of the puck.
QUESTION: Should players ineligible for the game be crossed off the scoresheet at the conclusion of the game?
ANSWER: The game-sheet team rosters should list all players who were present, dressed and eligible to participate in the game. All missing, sick or injured players should be removed the team roster after the game concludes.
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.