Coach Conroy 7 things to do that will make your child a better hockey player that cost nothing.

Hi all, I have been around great hockey players for decades and teaching kids for a long time.  In my observations the following are things of value. Some kids do make the Pro Hockey and some kids get a free education and that it’s worth a small fortune.

Presently I am talking to several NCAA school coaches on behalf of Ryan one Coach told me that the investment his school makes in their players is:

A half a MILLION US dollars per committed kid!

To convert that to something real, I totaled the number of hours my son would practice and play in minor hockey and that is the equivalent of him be PAID $ 125.00/hour on the ice, not bad for a 5 year old I think.

There are 5 things that a kid needs to become a Pro Hockey Player:

  1. The Talent, athletic ability is needed and 75% is “god given” you need to have “it” but that is not
    enough. The other 25% is everything and you are in complete control of that 25%.
  2. The Drive. Okay you got Talent (so do others) your drive is what will separate you from the rest.
    Drive is affected by:

    1. Courage.
    2. Toughness.
    3. Effort.
    4. Commitment.
    5. Positive can do, will do attitude.
  3. The love or passion for the game. If you don’t love it then just enjoy it.
  4. Leaderships/Mentorship: find a Coach that wants you to succeed, that will push you and that
    actually has ability to teach you the skills you need.
  5. Support from your Parents.

I see Parents waste allots of money on a long list of things on kids that are too young. Make sure you can check all 5 boxes above prior to pushing your kid and spending a fortune.

Being a good hockey player is great it’s a great game and provides all manners of life lessons and fun and exercise you don’t need to go pro to play the game and love it I played real full hit bleed every Saturday hockey until I was 32 for nothing more than I LOVED IT.

Finally know these 2 things;

  1. If your player is good enough they will find them because they are looking. This year 13 NCAA schools contacted Ryan.
  2. If your Player is short they simply have to be better because there is a negative bias to short players.

If you have a great player and need guidance call me and I will be glad to give you my opinion, I have seen and heard it all and 83.6% is pure BS.  Most of you know I speak my mind to you all of the time.  That’s why I TEACH and don’t Coach.

Now here are 7 things that you can do, that cost nothing but time and attention, time that you will spend with your kids, time that will be worthwhile.

Yes kids have changed, certainly not for the better (from an athletic perspective), but what has not changed is the demands of being a top athlete in fact those demands have gotten harder as those that commit REALLY commit.

My oldest son is playing at the highest levels and a fortune has not been spent to achieve this.  But we did do the 7 things that are listed below.

Not every kid needs to be the best and of course not every player will play pro but I think that every kid should try to be the best they can be, why expect and accept anything less.  The following is about a winning attitude and effort

    1. Strength and physical fitness. The single easiest and best way to be better than
      others is to be
      stronger and fit and this does not cost a dime. Kids today are not engaged in enough PHYSICAL
      activities to make them stronger and fit.  Get fit by:

        1. Walks that involve hills and uneven terrain to strengthen core, legs and ankles. Sprint up hills!!!  Make a game of this, race, compete, TRY.
        2. Squats & lunges 2 sets of 25 (a total of 50 squats and 50 lunges) 3 days a week will matter allot.
        3. Also do your heel raises.
        4. Pushups I recommend 5 different types of pushups that work different parts of your upper torso.
          1. 5 x 10 then 5 x 11 increase until you can do 5 x 20, 3 days a week.
        5. Sit-up/Core all of your power comes from your core, the stronger your core the better the athlete you are simple as that.
          1. Do a minimum of 2 x 25 ideally 4 x 25 core exercises.
        6. Strong hands are important, keep a tennis ball in the car and when you go somewhere have them squeeze it.
    2. PLAY/PRACTICE  HOCKEY OFF the ICE. You know the story about Syndey Crosby and the dryer right????? So our kids can:
      1. Rollerblade
      2. Shoots pucks against ????
      3. Play road hockey.
      4. Stickhandle in the garage or basement.
      5. Play on outdoor rinks.
      6. PLAY PLAY PLAY with no supervision just play.
    3. LISTEN. The best players share this trait.  They listen to their Coaches to their Parents to their Teachers.  Accurate listening is a life skill, it is needed throughout life get started early.  A good listener is also a pleasure to coach.
    4. BE TOUGH. You want a fact? Your child is as tough or weak as you make them or allow them this is 100% the Parents department.If they are constantly “hurt”, constantly defeated, constantly lying on the ice, this is your fault you allowed this and it’s bad. No one like me, likes kid’s likes this, not the School Bus Driver, not their Teacher and certainly not their Coaches.

      I personally can’t stand it. So trust me children like this are naturally treated differently and not in a better way by all of their Mentors.
      And for you (the Parent) and there is not a single logical reason to allow, teach, tolerate or accept this type of behavior, not 1.

      Physical and mental toughness is everything, the ability to get up and shake it off, get back on the horse, fight back against bullies, win the battles with bigger kids. Coaches don’t like babies, no one does!

      Weak players detract from everything and greatly reduce the effectiveness of the team, do yourself and your child a favor and create a tough kid.

      I don’t mean a bully, no one likes a bully either but let’s create a kid that stands up to bullies and that is tough.

      I don’t mean a bully, no one likes a bully either but let’s create a kid that stands up to bullies and that is tough.

    5. BE COMPETITIVE.Being competitive is good. They should TRY, they should FOCUS they should WANT to be the best, they should care about what it takes to win or to lose and they should know the difference. They should BATTLE which is why every 5th practice is BATTLE day. On those days I push them harder I want to see an edge I want to see compete. Then win gracefully but enjoy winning after all you earned. (Don’t even get me started about participation trophies).

      They should also FAIL and they need to learn about Failure. FAILURE is normal (meaning in all aspects of life many compete 1 wins the rest lose, ergo failure is normal) teach them how to accept it and to learn from it.

      Don’t fancy up losing, they lost, everyone loses learn about it. To fail is fine to not try is unacceptable. Teach your kids to TRY to compete and to lose with grace and to win with grace.

      Are you on a bad team? (in your opinion) OK maybe you are and maybe you could not prevent that BUT how does that make your child worse? It shouldn’t. Time to prove them WRONG.

      There is nothing better for a child confidence than being the best player at any level. And then to keep getting better. A good player on a “bad” team will play more and that is good. Your child can still learn and grow and develop even when they are on a bad team. This build CONFIDENCE and CONFIDENCE is EVERYTHING.

      Almost every player in the NHL was the best player on their team which means the rest of the team was worse. They succeeded and showed continuous improvement “despite” their team. So can you!

    6. LEADERSHIP. Be the first to be on the ice and the last one off. Take risks; show others how to do it. Be the best skilled kid on the ice. Be the best listener, the hardest worker, help the coaches, ask smart questions, be the most respectful. LISTEN WELL, watch and learn.

      Don’t be a follower, don’t be bullied, be a leader! Do the right thing when no one is watching. Be polite, be respectful WORK HARD. Be curious, observe others and learn by watching. And finally’ think’ be focused on what we are doing. My best students do all of these things.

    7. HELP OTHERS. Hockey is a team sport, help and support your team mates, help them in everything that you can! Help the coach! Help the referees help your Parents to help you.

      Trust me every Coach has favorites for good reason and these reasons are above, help the Coach to like you.

All of these traits are what the best kids share and they don’t cost a dime to achieve and you will not only have better players but you will have better kids.