If you’ve ever watched kids playing hockey…or any sport or game for that matter, you know that it seems like they never tire out. And, while it might seem like kids have boundless energy, the truth is that even they need breaks from time to time.
In fact, USA Hockey has actually mandated that there is a break and rest period between games played at the USA Hockey National Championships. The organization also recommends that all coaches and organizations follow the same rule. Kids play better, stay safer, and are more likely to actually develop valuable skills and perform at their best when they get adequate breaks during play.
USA Hockey’s rules actually give players a lot of rest and downtime. Some of the organization’s mandates include:
l No team is required to play more than two games in a single day
l Teams playing their second game do not have to play teams playing their first game so that energy/performance levels are more evenly matched
l At least a four hour rest must be given between each game played during a single day
l At least a twelve hour rest must be given between games played on consecutive days
While you’re only required to follow these specific rules at USA Hockey national championships, they’re pretty good rules to follow all the time to ensure that kids stay safe and rested. In addition to having rules about rest time in place, it’s important to make sure that all players get the proper hydration and adequate food as well. As energetic as they may seem, kids and their bodies do have needs, so whenever they’re playing hard, make sure they’re also being taken care of well. Otherwise, this could lead to injuries, exhaustion, and just plain bad playing!