Youth hockey coaches

Discussion of Minnesota Youth Hockey

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hockeydad79
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Youth hockey coaches

Post by hockeydad79 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:02 pm

I am wondering what everyone thinks makes a youth coach good or bad. It seems that everywhere you go people are complaining about the coaches. Are the only good coaches out there coaching in places like Edina, EP, and Wayzata. Or do cities that continually struggle have coaches that are good, but not the talent to compete? Is it strictly wins and losses that matter? Or do implementing good systems and standards of play count? How about helpig the players grow, both as players and as people, teaching a sense of accountability?

hockeyparent11
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Post by hockeyparent11 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:13 pm

One thing all good youth coaches have in common is this:

Commitment to the kids comes first.

From this commitment flows the good conduct; the willingness to learn to be better at Xs and Os; fairness to kids; and character building Also, this commitment leads to more victories, which is also fun.

Without this commitment, a youth coach will not do the things necessary to become an excellent coach.

hockeydad79
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Post by hockeydad79 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:17 pm

good answer....then I ask you this...there is talk in our association of firing coaches because of the record of the team. I am not sure of the character of these coaches, but is a bad record enough to get rid of a coach?

Nobodyonya
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Post by Nobodyonya » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:25 pm

Is this happening in Andover?

tomASS
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Post by tomASS » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:30 pm

Nobodyonya wrote:Is this happening in Andover?
it happens everywhere in all sports.

hockeydad79
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Post by hockeydad79 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:32 pm

Nobodyonya wrote:Is this happening in Andover?
It is in our association....not sure about andover

BobbyOrrFraud
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Location: Edina

Post by BobbyOrrFraud » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:53 pm

Here's the REAL problem.


PARENTS! TAKE OFF THE ROSE COLORED GLASSES, If little tommy only makes it to 60% of the practices is little tommy going to improve at the same pace that little johnny is when he make's it 99% of the practices. or
if little tommy doesn't work hard ever is little tommy entitled to more ice time. But i forgot we live in a world where every kid gets a TROPHY.

egf hockey1
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Post by egf hockey1 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:55 pm

Most parents are going to judge coaches on wins and losses. If the team is losing it is the coaches fault, if the team is winning it is because their kid is the next Gretzky.

I am not one of them,in fact, my son's favorite coaches and mine was on a team that didn't win veryoften. These coaches were fair to the kids and taught them alot about the game and teamwork. They would tell my son how important it was to pass the puck even if it was easier to just skate it himself, because it gets harder to do as he gets older (which he is finding now that he in PeeWee's) They put teaching the kids to play the game the right way ahead of wins and losses. They communicated well with the parents, which to me is a huge factor in a parents perception of a coach. These were 3 young coaches that are quickly working their way up through the coaching ranks, because they also had a positive experience and enjoyed what they were doing. They learned from their experience much like our kids learned from them.

chewy10
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Post by chewy10 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:57 pm

egf hockey1 wrote:Most parents are going to judge coaches on wins and losses. If the team is losing it is the coaches fault, if the team is winning it is because their kid is the next Gretzky.

I am not one of them,in fact, my son's favorite coaches and mine was on a team that didn't win veryoften. These coaches were fair to the kids and taught them alot about the game and teamwork. They would tell my son how important it was to pass the puck even if it was easier to just skate it himself, because it gets harder to do as he gets older (which he is finding now that he in PeeWee's) They put teaching the kids to play the game the right way ahead of wins and losses. They communicated well with the parents, which to me is a huge factor in a parents perception of a coach. These were 3 young coaches that are quickly working their way up through the coaching ranks, because they also had a positive experience and enjoyed what they were doing. They learned from their experience much like our kids learned from them.

Great Post :D

DMom
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Post by DMom » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:18 pm

I have heard from two different families this season that their coaches told them to "quit their F'ing whining". hmmmm.

thankfully we have not had that experience in hockey. To me a good coach realizes that everything leading up to Bantams is developmental. We had beat a team by five goals and were scheduled to play them three days later. Coach started the D up front, the forwards on D, and even when the team got behind he didn't switch them up. They were adapting well and appreciating what their teammates did regularly, they were squirts than. To me that is a good coach, because he wasn't putting a squirt win ahead of the kids development. I dropped him a note telling him how much I appreciated it, because I had just witnessed a Squirt C game where the coach had a power line, and had some kids who only played one short shift in the entire third period. Some coaches mean well and get caught up in the heat of the game.

gilmour
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Post by gilmour » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:29 pm

I agree with a lot of comments on here - i.e. commitment to the kids, encouraging proper playing habits, etc...one item that I would like to add is that the best coaches believe in their approach and don't let the parents (and/or the kids) start to secondguess themselves due to emotional suggestions/criticism - good coaches have the experience to know what works and what doesn't work and know when to make changes based upon their kids abilities...they cannot wavor in their beliefs or values - if internal doubt starts to creep into a coaches head they are dead.

MoreCowBell
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Post by MoreCowBell » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:30 pm

I'm posting to show my disapproval of parents and the boards of hockey associations. My son who played college hockey is coaching for his second year of a A squirt team in a successful association and gets nothing but negetive feedback, and he's a great coach, never yells always trying to teach the kids, is consderate of all involved, being a non-parent (which is the ideal situation) he is always being pulled in opposite directions. The good players parents want him to play to win, and the lower level players parents want him to develope all the players, which he would respect, but they still expect to win. He gets no direction from the board. Based upon what he tells me he does not to go through this again. What a shame, to drive away quality coaches because every parent thinks their kid might miss out on a college scholarship. Herb Brooks said it best "if it wasn't for parents hockey would be a great sport".

hockeydad79
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Post by hockeydad79 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:35 pm

So do you all believe that parents are in many cases teaching their kids that the coach is stupid, and that he/she shouldnt be listened to? If parents would tell their kids to listen to the coaches, and the parents would support what the coaches do, everyone woud be a lot happier, and more successful both as a team and individuals

gilmour
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Post by gilmour » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:44 pm

Mr. MoreCowBell - I understand what you are saying...your son was probably a fine hockey player and probably a really nice guy - maybe he did this and I am not trying to be critical of him but if he does the following:

1. sets clear expectations after the first team practice (i.e. playing time, parental coaching from home, etc...
2. consistent approach to skill development
3. put kids in positions to have fun and be succesful
4. teach the players it is a "team" game
5. teaches other values he thinks are important

...and does it on a consistent basis he will be fine...being a youth hockey coach also takes a little bit of thick skin and you have to be able to tune out some of the emotion.

As far as the board, it is not their role to get involved on a team-by-team basis to deal with minor situations - those guys/gals have real jobs too and if they were to get involved in every parental faction that evolves they wouldn't get anything done...that is the job of the coach and his assistants.

egf hockey1
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Post by egf hockey1 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:49 pm

More cow bell - it is unfortunate that your son is not having a good experience. I am not commenting on your son because I probably don't know him, but just because somebody played college or even pro hockey doesn't make him a good coach. He has to be able to teach to all knds of different hockey minds. Some kids will get it and pick it up right away, while others won't understand it if you showed them a hundred times. When high ability players try to coach they usually have trouble dumbing the game down for the kids. Everything probably came very natural to him and frustration sets in when the kids can't do what he can or could do. Hopefully, your son will stick with it and learn from his experiences. A few years from now, he can look back and laugh about his early coaching experiences.

One pointer: when a parent tries to tell you how to run your team, "you nod and smile and tell them that you will look into it."
Sometimes you can pick up good ideas from the parents, but most of the time they are just looking out for their own kid.

elliott70
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Post by elliott70 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:38 pm

Something to remember....

mites learn to skate, skate with a stick, use the stick with the puck, pass the puck, shoot the puck...
we do not expect mites to be varsity hockey players...

when a new coach is hired, some of us expect him to be a 'varsity hockey player' right away...
we need patience, we need to help without being over-bearing, we need to let them learn, just as we let the mite player learn...

elliott70
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Post by elliott70 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:50 pm

When I am coaching I let the parents know immediatley that if I want their help, if I want their opinion, I will ask for it.
If I don't ask, don't volunteer.

I tell the kids (12 year-olds) what is going on, I give them hand-outs to share with their parents, but I put the repsonsibiltiy on them (12 year-olds, any younger than 12 - I put the parents in that position).

I have been coaching for 37 years. Somewhere in that time I learned I was there for the kids. Parents were secondary (some less so).

When running programs such as Bemidji Youth Hockey, I gave full support to the coach. At pre-season meetings, I told parents not to bother a coach - only at the times they pre-set. (Same for refs, kids on the team, and the other team, with a warning that I would not allow them in the rink if they violated the rule.) (I still use this rule for problems within D16, I have banned fathers from their kids games.) At year-end we evaluated and told the coach what was not up to our expectations. And re-hired, had them re-apply or just let them go at that time.

Does everything go perfect all the time?
Perfection is an unreasonable goal, but things go smoothly.
I communicate, I am fair by my definition, but I am the ultimate authority on the team. That's the way it was whn I played sports, went to school and when I was still living with my parents. Paying for something does not give you the right, it just gets you in the door to watch.

Sorry, for the rambling....
:D

boblee
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post 9486

Post by boblee » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:15 pm

I am in my first season in the Moorhead Youth Organization. One thing I have learned, is you have to incoporate fun. I know that is probably a no brainer, but it is completely necessary. If the kids aren't having fun, something isn't working.

elliott70
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Re: post 9486

Post by elliott70 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:47 pm

boblee wrote:I am in my first season in the Moorhead Youth Organization. One thing I have learned, is you have to incoporate fun. I know that is probably a no brainer, but it is completely necessary. If the kids aren't having fun, something isn't working.
Great point, T.
Something coaches sometimes overlook...
not because they don't want it, but they get caught up in 'teaching the game'.

5thgraders
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Re: post 9486

Post by 5thgraders » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:22 pm

[quote="elliott70"][quote="boblee"]I am in my first season in the Moorhead Youth Organization. One thing I have learned, is you have to incoporate fun. I know that is probably a no brainer, but it is completely necessary. If the kids aren't having fun, something isn't working.[/quote]

Great point, T.
Something coaches sometimes overlook...
not because they don't want it, but they get caught up in 'teaching the game'.[/quote] You guys are all missing the point. If your kid is at or near the bottom you want to develop and not shorten the bench but you also
expect to win but guess what you usually do not win the tough games
under this method. If your kid is at or near the top you have no problem
if you play to win. But this does not guarantee a win either. So either way it is tough on the coach and he will lose either way. This forum limits its
posts and only lets some comments through of which none wer'e out of
line in any way. Makes you wonder why Minnesota Hockey does not like
it when you talk about the good Tier 1 hockey being played in the other
49 states. It is back to the control and the monopoly it has on the kids.
Tier 1 does not get mad if you choose not to do it , don't do it.. Why is it
that Minnesota hockey feels it has to hold the only choice and that is my
way or the highway. I have heard you better be ready to answer some tough questions fine but what are they ? question # 1 is probably are you
preparatory school who prepares student's for college you answer no and you are denied. so it is not that simple when the cards are kept in hiding
and they give you a bad hand and say you do not meet the criteria of which they like to control. This is just a few little things of which we will see if it makes it to the screen or somehow vanishes into the air like the
other messages I have tried to post. Makes you wonder what it is you are hiding from the users of this forum..

elliott70
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Re: post 9486

Post by elliott70 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:46 pm

5thgraders wrote:
elliott70 wrote:
boblee wrote:I am in my first season in the Moorhead Youth Organization. One thing I have learned, is you have to incoporate fun. I know that is probably a no brainer, but it is completely necessary. If the kids aren't having fun, something isn't working.
Great point, T.
Something coaches sometimes overlook...
not because they don't want it, but they get caught up in 'teaching the game'.
You guys are all missing the point. If your kid is at or near the bottom you want to develop and not shorten the bench but you also
expect to win but guess what you usually do not win the tough games
under this method. If your kid is at or near the top you have no problem
if you play to win. But this does not guarantee a win either. So either way it is tough on the coach and he will lose either way. This forum limits its
posts and only lets some comments through of which none wer'e out of
line in any way. Makes you wonder why Minnesota Hockey does not like
it when you talk about the good Tier 1 hockey being played in the other
49 states. It is back to the control and the monopoly it has on the kids.
Tier 1 does not get mad if you choose not to do it , don't do it.. Why is it
that Minnesota hockey feels it has to hold the only choice and that is my
way or the highway. I have heard you better be ready to answer some tough questions fine but what are they ? question # 1 is probably are you
preparatory school who prepares student's for college you answer no and you are denied. so it is not that simple when the cards are kept in hiding
and they give you a bad hand and say you do not meet the criteria of which they like to control. This is just a few little things of which we will see if it makes it to the screen or somehow vanishes into the air like the
other messages I have tried to post. Makes you wonder what it is you are hiding from the users of this forum..
Huh??? :?

Reggie
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Post by Reggie » Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:52 pm

hockeydad79 wrote:So do you all believe that parents are in many cases teaching their kids that the coach is stupid, and that he/she shouldnt be listened to? If parents would tell their kids to listen to the coaches, and the parents would support what the coaches do, everyone woud be a lot happier, and more successful both as a team and individuals


I think thats the case alot of times. coach says this and parent says something else, who is the kid going to believe. mom and dad!

Reggie
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Location: Northwoods

Post by Reggie » Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:54 pm

egf hockey1 wrote:More cow bell - it is unfortunate that your son is not having a good experience. I am not commenting on your son because I probably don't know him, but just because somebody played college or even pro hockey doesn't make him a good coach. He has to be able to teach to all knds of different hockey minds. Some kids will get it and pick it up right away, while others won't understand it if you showed them a hundred times. When high ability players try to coach they usually have trouble dumbing the game down for the kids. Everything probably came very natural to him and frustration sets in when the kids can't do what he can or could do. Hopefully, your son will stick with it and learn from his experiences. A few years from now, he can look back and laugh about his early coaching experiences.

One pointer: when a parent tries to tell you how to run your team, "you nod and smile and tell them that you will look into it."
Sometimes you can pick up good ideas from the parents, but most of the time they are just looking out for their own kid.



Great point!

WayOutWest
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Post by WayOutWest » Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:30 am

hockeydad79 wrote:So do you all believe that parents are in many cases teaching their kids that the coach is stupid, and that he/she shouldnt be listened to? If parents would tell their kids to listen to the coaches, and the parents would support what the coaches do, everyone woud be a lot happier, and more successful both as a team and individuals
In many cases, the coaches ARE not exactly wise, learned, fair, or great instructors. It can very well BE that "Dad' or "Mom" IS providing the player with better advice and instruction than his coach.
But hey, coaching youth hockey is a thankless job, really. If you get paid, it's minimal, and many associations don't exactly do much investigative work into the qualifications of coaching candidates. They're just trying to find enough coaches to support the teams they have.
I understand that in order to gel as a team, all players have to be on the same page. And I certainly concur with the "if you don't like it, COACH" mindset. But it is frequently not quite that easy. You may not have the opportunity or time to coach, yourself. And, your kid is going to be with this given coach for 1-2 years, max. You, as a parent, are more concerned about his future than his "Squirt Coach."
I think it is a tremendous assumption to say, "If parents would tell their kids to listen to the coaches, and the parents would support what the coaches do, everyone woud be a lot happier, and more successful both as a team and individuals."
Not, at all, necessarily so. If your coach has questionable skills, there is no guarantee to this..........in the least.

DMom
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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:46 am

Post by DMom » Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:41 am

it may be a no brainer but my son says it's important for the coach to "like kids".

I think Elliott described some of our best coaches. They take very limited input from the parents, but are polite about it.

It's humorous to read that only parents with unskilled kids are interested in development. No one remembers who wins their first game of the year, everyone remembers who wins their last game of the year (at least for awhile). My kids are actually fairly skilled, but I respect a coach who plays the kids who need to catch up A LOT in the beginning of the season. Than they are ready with the rest of the team when the final push comes.
You'd have to be exremely short-sighted to believe that five kids are going to win games for you.

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