Below, please find the necessary forms to fill out for application to be a coach with Onalaska/Holmen Tornado Youth Hockey.
Please download, print, and fill out the forms below, and return to Coach Representative Jarrod Turk as soon as possible.
Improving Performance Through Mental Preparation
09 Sep 2010 08:39:09 Z
What is Mental Preparation?
To be mentally prepared means preparing ahead of time to be your best. This increases your self-confidence and keeps you focused during the game because you will have thought in advance about what you want to do in any situation. This in turn will improve your performance.
Just as you exercise your body to be in shape to play the game, you must exercise your mind to be in shape to play the game. If your body is ready but your mind is not, you will probably not get the results you want.
Mental preparation for a game should start long before the puck drops. It means thinking about how you will position yourself, challenge your opponents and maneuver the puck. By the time the game begins, you should already have visualized your performance. Both players and coaches need to have a personal mental game plan, which means a personal strategy on how they intend to perform during the game.
As you go up in levels, you will encounter more and more talented athletes. While team skills are equal and player skills are comparable, the difference between success and failure will be found in the mental game.
7 Strategies to Help Your Athlete Be More Confident
In this helpful article for youth sports parents, Dr. Patrick J. Cohn, a leading youth sports psychology expert, discusses 7 steps parents can take to help their child perform with more confidence.
View the Article
10 Reasons for Equal Playing Time
On most youth teams, there are players who are physically two or three years ahead of their teammates in size, speed or strength. These players often form a core of talent that coaches can use to their advantage to win games. Especially in youth travel and select teams, the temptation for many coaches is to use this talent more during a game to go for the win. While this method is appropriate at the highest level of athletic competition, it seldom has any place in youth sports. Here are ten reasons why equal playing time is a better strategy:
1. Avoids contention between coaches and parents. Parents will not objectively judge their own child’s abilities. No coach should expect objectivity from parents.
2. Avoids contention among parents. The resentments that can build between coaches and parents can often build among parents for the same reasons. More than a few youth teams have had successful seasons poisoned by hard feelings arising out of a coach’s game decisions.
3. Avoids contention among players. If players feel that coaches have favorites, they may stop trying their hardest.
4. Minimizes player fatigue. In tough physical games, coaches will lack skilled players if the top players are exhausted and lesser players have had limited game experience.
5. Maximizes player development. Without access to playing time and special situations, players cannot learn.
6. Simplifies coaching decisions. Coaches won’t have to guess which players are most likely to play well in a given situation.
7. Recognizes equal investments. Players and parents often make equal contributions away from the game in time and dollars and thus expect equal access to game situations.
8. Improves team chemistry. When players feel everyone is treated fairly, they are more likely to focus on working together. When players feel they can succeed by making someone else look bad or themselves look better, they are learning the wrong lessons about team play.
9. Wins mean more to everyone. When everyone contributes to a win, there are no lingering resentments that will interfere with the celebration.
10. Better reflects coaching abilities. Winning games with kids who are physically more mature is more a success of drafting than coaching. Winning games by developing all the kids on a team is a better test of a coach’s abilities.
At some point, youth sports become more about the team than about the players and spectators start including more than just team family members. As kids reach adulthood, an increased focus on team performance separates recreational players from the truly motivated ones. These players then feed the needs of competitive high school, college and professional programs. Until then, youth sports are more about developing motivation and talent than judging them. Parents facilitate their child's participation to help make their child better in life and to provide a chance at sports participation past puberty.
Equal playing time is hard for coaches to implement. It forces them to put more effort into practices and player preparation. It also tests their priorities. If a coach's priority is to win above developing players then parents should look elsewhere to give their child the best chances of playing later on. Equal playing time should be one of a coach's core beliefs and not easily discarded in the last minutes of a championship game.
When a child reaches the advanced levels of athletic play, parents will stop being able to demand equal playing time. However, isn't reaching these levels one of the goals and a key reason why parents should demand it while they can?
Special thanks to Sports Esteem for the contents of this article.