When you think of the skills that are learned in youth hockey, you probably think of things like stick and puck handling. And, while these skills are certainly important and are, undoubtedly, a part of youth hockey, they are far from being the most important skills your child should focus on or even the most valuable skills you should help your child to learn through the game.
So, what are the major skills, often referred to as the “soft skills,” since they are learned gently, along the way? Well, one of them is making friends and learning loyalty. When your child is a part of a team, he or she will grow close to and reliant on others like never before. He or she will form a family type bond with people outside of his or her family often for the first time, therefore teaching your child how to trust others and how to truly love people and be a good friend.
Another great thing that children will glean from the sport is confidence. Hockey is wonderful for teaching kids how to face challenges head on, to move on and recover from losses, and to believe in themselves. In fact, for most kids, the change in confidence level from when they first start hockey to the end of their first season is downright phenomenal.
Kids will also learn good communication through playing this sport. They will learn to take direction well from their coaches and other people in charge in the sport. They will also learn how to effectively communicate with their peers/teammates and even how to read body language and subtle communicative signs.
As if these things weren’t enough, kids also learn leadership from the game of hockey. Even if they aren’t the team star, they’ll learn how to be an example to others, how to show good sportsmanship no matter what, and just, in general, to be and become the awesome people you want them to be.
It is, in the end, these sports skills- no, life skills,- that make youth hockey such a powerful and wonderful thing for your child to be involved in, so don’t forget to focus on what really matters.