In the world of hockey, there are two distinct types of players. First, you have the “get” player. This is not your ideal player. It’s someone who wants to get whatever he can from the sport and from his team. This player has a selfish focus.
Then, you have the “give” hockey player, someone who wants to give and contribute to his team. This is the player who has the right focus and is an asset to the team.
Being a “Give” Player
So, how can you encourage young athletes to be “give” players? What kinds of things should you teach them? Here are a few ideas:
l Encourage players to give their all in every practice and at every game
l Encourage players to maintain a coachable, positive attitude
l Teach players to lead by example both on and off the ice
l Teach players to step out of the spotlight sometimes and give others a chance to shine
l Encourage players to say positive, uplifting things to their teammates whenever possible
If you can get your players doing these things, they’ll all be “give” athletes in no time at all.
The Benefits of Being a “Give” Player
Since people, especially young people, tend to be naturally selfish, it’s a good idea for coaches to discuss the benefits of being a “give” player with their team members. Teaching the values listed above helps, but simply explaining why being a “give” player is important really seals the deal.
Explain to players that, in the future, they’ll have a better chance of success and getting onto other teams if they have the right attitude. Also, explain how when all players are focused on what they can give, the team is stronger, and team morale is improved.
Coaches are encouraged to be honest and direct with their players about this topic. If they are and they follow the other tips presented here, they should end up with a wonderful, strong team every season.