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  • Katelynn Reiss

Redefining Success in Youth Hockey: Why The Score Isn't The Most Important Thing

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

In our latest podcast episode, we explore an alternative perspective on youth hockey, challenging the conventional notion that success is solely determined by winning. Instead, we propose a thought-provoking idea: let's shift the focus away from the scoreboard and towards personal performance, effort, and overall improvement. This shift, we believe, can redefine success in youth hockey and foster a more enriching and positive competitive experience for young athletes.

Imagine a game where young players are fully present, absorbed in their own performance, and unburdened by the pressure of the outcome. Cultivating this mindset in our children is crucial. It mirrors the approach taken by iconic athletes like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky, who understood the power of being in the moment. Their drive to win never overshadowed their strategic game plan. They recognized that their worth extended beyond the game's result, encompassing their dedication, effort, and growth.

Promoting personal growth and performance over victory doesn't imply rejecting competitiveness. On the contrary, it empowers our children to manage their competitive emotions, channel them effectively, and comprehend that their value isn't solely determined by a hockey game's outcome. This shift in perspective equips them to handle disappointment, cope with anxiety, and appreciate the significance of resilience.

In our episode, we also discuss the pivotal role of positive reinforcement, teamwork, and resilience in youth hockey. We delve into strategies for offering constructive feedback, including the sandwich method, and explore the importance of creating opportunities for rewards. Moreover, we emphasize teaching young hockey players how to cope with setbacks. Positive reinforcement serves as a powerful motivator, encouraging young athletes to persevere and improve. Additionally, teamwork fosters a sense of belonging, imparting the understanding that individual performance significantly impacts the team's success.

Ultimately, our goal is to help children not only excel in hockey but also in life. By instilling the courage to confront challenges, the humility to learn from mistakes, and the determination to persist, we empower them to develop personally and athletically. This kind of holistic growth is what we seek to foster in youth hockey. Let's redefine success by redirecting our focus from the scoreboard to personal performance, creating a healthier and more fulfilling hockey environment for our children.

If you enjoyed this episode please feel free to let us know by leaving us a 5 Star review on your preferred podcast network or a comment on social media which you can follow here:

For more content from your favorite Hockey Podcasting Line, follow Lee MJ Elias, Christie Casciano Burns, and Michael Bonelli on all social platforms and feel free to email our team at!

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