First things first, it’s important to understand that there isn’t some simple definition of “great.” What it means to be a “great” player is going to vary from level to level and from player to player, for example. So, before you set standards for your child- standards that will equal greatness- consider his skill level, his age, and where he’s starting from. Any progress should be an indicator of greatness when these things are taken into account.
Another mark of a great player is one who thinks ahead. Encourage your child to always try to see and plan “two steps ahead” in every game and practice. Watching carefully and thinking ahead will give your child opportunities to step up and be a game hero- to see, anticipate, and handle situations that nobody else saw coming. Acting in this way- going above and beyond the call of duty and using one’s knowledge to the benefit of the team is a sure mark of greatness.
Great players are also players who are truly passionate about hockey. They love it. They think about it all the time, and their passion for the game is unending. As a hockey parent, don’t do anything to damage or stifle this passion, such as being too hard on your child or making him or her focus on hockey too much. Along with following the other tips presented here, allow your child’s hockey passion to ebb, flow, and develop naturally, and you should end up with a child who truly loves and appreciates this fine sport and who is on the path to greatness.