What is the most important aspect of coaching pee wee hockey? One would immediately say skating is the obvious answer. But there are more important skills that truly need to be taught by a coach of such young players. In many cases, a coach is the most influential adult in the life of a young hockey player. The responsibilities that go along with that are immense.
A responsible coach will be the key in developing life skills on and off the ice. They actually have a hand in developing the character of the young player. If they are encouraged to play safe, taught team work, taught confrontation resolution, and instilling a love of the sport, then the coach is doing their job. It is not enough for the coach to just make sure that everyone has a good time playing.
There is a major difference between a win at all cost coach and a responsible I love to play hockey coach but let's do it right and have fun while we are doing it. At the peewee level if the young players are not taught the confrontation resolution, the love of hockey, and fair play they will grow into young men who believe it is okay to "take some one out" to win. There are players in the NHL that you can separate out and see the difference in how they must have been coached early on.
They not only have respect for the game and respect for the others players, but off the ice they have a character that is truly that of a mentor for younger players to look up to. Placing education and character before winning is an important part of being a responsible coach to pee wee's.
It is a proven statistical fact, that children who are coached responsibly have better academic grades, stay out of dangerous activities, and live longer due to a healthier lifestyle. Pee wee hockey provides the opportunity for coaches to have a profound effect upon the young players they get to work with. Therefore, it is vital that they use the opportunity to help mold our future, not only for hockey's sake, but for the sake of our future. John Gardner of the Positive Coaching Alliance stated "There isn't any other youth institution that equals sports as a setting in which to develop character. There just isn't. Sports are the perfect setting because character is tested all the time."