Coaching tips to be avoided in hockey

Some hockey coaches have it down to a fine art. They achieve just the right balance between firm and fair, getting the absolute best out of their players. What do they do that other less successful coaches don’t? It may be more a case of what other coaches do that they don’t – read on to find out more.

  1. Screaming during play

    Yelling at players between whistles serves no purpose whatsoever. Ineffective coaches who resort to this method simple create confusion and anxiety for the players; instead, the team should be adequately prepared to read the game and react appropriately without the need for a coach shouting instructions from the sidelines.

    2. System overload
    Strategies and systems have become an obsession for many coaches. While they obviously have their place, focusing too intently on trick plays detracts from the fun stuff, such as shooting, passing and ball handling. Playing hockey is far more than learning a few systems – it is about interacting with your team on the field and out-sporting – not outsmarting – your opponents.

  1. Too much negative communication with players

Coaches who spend too much time pointing out what players have done wrong will very quickly lose attention and respect. If a player scores a goal, the coach needs to let them know how proud they are of them rather than damping down the positivity and immediately pointing out flaws in the play. Advice and practice can come later during training and field hockey drills from resources such as
Negativity will breed negativity. Players will remember these negative feelings for longer, potentially compromising play further down the line. In comparison, players play 100 per cent better when they feel valued by their team and positive about their ability.

4. Play-to-win mentality
We all love to be on the winning team; however, is it really all about the winning or is it the journey that matters? If your team loses a game, this does mean that you did not do your best or that you have not come a long way since the previous season. Losing is all part of the growth and development of a team. Coaches must install more confidence into their teams by ensuring they change this play-to-win mentality for a more positive outlook.