As I turn the page on my first year as a youth sports coach, I’ve started to reflect on what I learned from this experience, which existing rules I want to keep and what new ones I should add to my repertoire.
I learned a lot this year, about myself and about being a coach. About myself in the form of the time commitment, personal dedication, and life balancing it takes to meet the responsibilities I have to my team and the hockey organization that entrusted me with these kids. I know I will always continue to learn more about coaching for as long as I coach, but I have to imagine this first year will go down as one of the more influential ones.
I look back on the way I was with the kids in the beginning by trying to answer every single one of their questions and address every single one of their concerns, to the way I was at the end where my expectations of them were that they did very little besides listen to myself and the other coaches and then apply what we said to the ice. From the way I would remind them that cutting each other in line during drills wasn’t how we did things, to eventually bumping such offenders immediately to the back of the line if they pulled such a stunt. From encouraging them to always have fun first, to encouraging them to always have fun first.
I developed as much as the kids did this year and the following are what I currently consider my top 3 rules as a coach.
1. Have fun with your teammates
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