No one in the hockey world really likes to focus on losing, especially not coaches. If you’re a coach, however, then you know all too well that losing is a part of life and a part of hockey too. And while some losses can really sting, there are a few things you can do to help yourself and your players get through them relatively unscathed.
Tip #1: Keep Your Chin Up
Immediately following a major loss, you’re probably feeling pretty bad about yourself as a coach and/or disappointed in your players. Now isn’t the time to let that show, however, or even to think about what you did wrong. It’s a time to put on a happy face, tell your players good job, and tell them you’re proud of them. Your young players will imitate you, so even if it’s hard, show them that losing is no big deal (because it’s really not!) and that there’s still lots to be proud of and hope for next time too.
Tip #2: Remember and Reinforce that Sports Teach Life Skills
Even though losing isn’t fun, it’s a part of life. So, when your team loses, try to remember that sports is about teaching life skills, and one of those life skills is dealing with and overcoming disappointment. Remind your players, in words they can understand, that they are building something that will be important later in life, and take the loss in stride, knowing that it serves a higher purpose.
Tip #3: Recall Past Victories
Sometimes, when you and your team are feeling a little down, the best thing you can do is to think back to happier times. Take a stroll down memory lane and recall past victories and successes together. It will make you feel better and bring back your confidence. In fact, all of these tips are great for recovering confidence and preparing to move forward!