LEARNING LIFE SKILLS
Hockey is an intricate and challenging sport. To become a complete hockey player takes years of practice and dedication to learn the many separate skillsets that are required to master the game. The distinct skills that hockey players possess are all inter-related and mutually dependent in order to succeed. Some of these skills include game techniques such as: skating, passing, shooting and stick handling. In addition to the mechanics of the game, a complete hockey player must possess good hockey sense, offensive play, defensive play and the ability to understand team systems. Athletes must also engage in dedicated training and participate in conditioning on and off the ice.
At Riggers Hockey Academy we do not focus on the short term wins and losses, but rather on individual skill development and athletic growth within a team setting. Through our program our coaches strive to foster character building and promote life skills that will help players become all-around athletes and good human beings through discipline, respect, teamwork and communication.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” (Jim Rohn)
Discipline is the essential foundation for any sport because it teaches an athlete how to set goals and focus their efforts in accomplishing them. Taking care of one’s self (body, health and mind) are all vital components for athletes. The following are some examples of self-discipline involved in achieving the goal of becoming a complete hockey player:
Attendance at all practices and games
Off-ice strength and agility conditioning
Maintaining a healthy diet
Getting adequate rest
Focusing on school
Studying and learning the game of hockey
Participating in other sports to become an all-around athlete
Discipline enables athletes to focus and attain the desired results with fewer distractions. Self-discipline is a long-term life skill that helps develop good habits and increases motivation.
“We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust and care for each other.” (Vala Afshar)
Respect is showing regard for others in the forms of compassion and empathy. In sports, respect for teammates is about being supportive, building others up and celebrating the accomplishments of others. Athletes who wish to improve and succeed must also respect the instruction of their coaches, including constructive criticism. Equally important in sports is respecting the opposition by learning how to play fairly, lose graciously and win with humility. Athletes must also learn how to respect spectators and game officials, particularly in times of adversity to demonstrate good sportsmanship.
Respect for self is also fundamental in sports (and in life) in order to recognize one’s worth, maintain integrity and demonstrate humility. Respect and humility often go hand-in-hand. A good athlete can become prideful and uncoachable if they have not learned how to be humble and respect others. Through humility, athletes earn respect from teammates, coaches and competitors because it creates an environment where everyone is treated with empathy, which in turn helps everyone thrive. Humility opens the door for athletes to keep learning and become even better players. Strength of character is established though being respectful because it teaches resiliency, gratitude and compassion.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.” (Michael Jordan)
Hockey is not an individual sport; it is played as a team. A positive team mindset consists of players trusting one another and working together towards the same objective. Instead of being concerned with personal statistics, each team member understands their role during every practice and game. Teamwork is essential for a good performance from any sports team and is a great way for athletes to develop real-life skills including: cooperation, socialization, confidence and accountability.
“Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.” (Mike Krzyzewski)
A team that communicates well is usually a team that is strong tactically and very difficult to play against. Hockey is a fast sport and time is often of the essence during game play. Effective communication between teammates can be verbal or non-verbal and allows a team the best chance for a successful outcome. Strong communication off the ice is also important to form a more cohesive team unit to strengthen on-ice performances and develop lasting friendships beyond hockey.