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Scoring Your Season

By Aaron Paitich, Touchpoint Media, 03/05/13, 1:45PM CST

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For most teams, the hockey season has come to an end. Maybe it was a tough season that saw many losses and few goals scored. Maybe the team dropped a few games it should have won. Maybe there were a couple personal/team goals weren’t reached.

 Don’t let these types of results dictate rash reactions. No matter the outcome, final record or personal statistics, it’s important not to get too caught up in these results when it comes to youth hockey.

 Here are some year-end thoughts to provide some perspective on this season and what Minnesota Hockey is really all about:

Hockey development is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. No matter how great the team was or how difficult things might have been at times, this was just one season of a child’s young life. It’s not the end of the world and nobody is handing out college scholarships or signing Squirts to pro contracts or endorsement deals. Kids physically mature at different paces and skills/strength will follow.

Only a few teams end the season with a win. Even if it didn’t end the way you wanted it to, look at the positives and build off of them for next year. Did your child develop and improve on certain skills? Do they understand the game better? Did they have fun and make friends?

Forge ahead. What kind of lesson are we teaching our kids if we let them quit, just because times were tough? Having your kid switch associations or sports because of a run-in with a coach or "politics" isn't acting like a good role model. Character development and athlete development go hand in hand. Battle through adversity and look for ways to improve both individually and as a group. The ultimate goal is for the kids to have fun, make friends, develop skills and lifelong lessons. Keep these four principles in mind when evaluating the season and making plans for next year.

Take note of the positives that came out of this season. What went well? What made hockey fun? What could improve? Write them down. When it’s time to pull out the skates again, you’ll know what to work on and quickly remember why it’s fun to head to the rink with your friends.

Questions or concerns about the season? Have a respectful conversation with the folks at your association. You are not the only one who wants the association, teams and individual players to succeed and have fun!

Give your kid time to decompress. There’s no need to bombard them with questions about next season already. Let them enjoy a break and encourage them to take up another sport, such as baseball/softball, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track and field or other activities they might enjoy. Recharge the batteries and move on to other activities. Playing multiple sports not only keeps kids refreshed but also fuels long-term athlete development, which has been proven to produce better hockey players. And once hockey season comes around again, they’ll be itching to put the skates back on.

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