When a parent involves their child in hockey, they have a lot of expectations in terms of what the coach will be and how he will act. All of those expectations can sometimes be a lot to live up to. However, by being aware of what parents are looking for in a coach, it’s easy to be that coach or as close to it as possible, or to at least hire the right coaches for your youth hockey league.
One of the hardest things about being a hockey coach is that you are also expected to be a role model. Does this mean that you have to be perfect? Absolutely not! Instead of striving for perfection, coaches simply have to strive to be good, positive people. They must recognize that their actions and behaviors are constantly being judged and evaluated by young eyes, and they have to act accordingly.
This means keeping anger and emotions in check, staying positive no matter what, and always being kind and courteous to everyone from players to refs and other coaches. Perfection is impossible, but you can come pretty close if you strive to be both a coach and a role model and remember this goal in everything you do.
Far too many coaches are focused on pointing out what their players do wrong. Often, they were taught this way themselves, but modern day coaching is a lot different. Nowadays, good coaches are expected to be kind and encouraging. Thus, always try and find something that your players have done well and to offer them a word of praise. And, when you must offer criticism, keep it constructive and kind to keep both players and parents happy.
One final thing that good coaches do is keep things fun. If kids aren’t having a good time playing youth hockey, they’re very likely to get burnt out on the sport. To keep that from happening and to hopefully cultivate a lifelong love for the sport, coaches should do their best to infuse a sense of fun and joy into practices and games.
By finding a way to keep things fresh, fun, light, and interesting and by following the other tips presented here, coaches can easily become the ideal coaches parents are looking for.