Unlocking the Joy in Summer Hockey Camp – Lessons on What Truly Matters

Sharing is caring!

The summer season is a great time for hockey players to take part in summer hockey camps and hone their skills. However, what often gets lost in the mix of high paced competitive games is the joy of the game. Summer hockey camps should be a place for young athletes to explore the game with fun activities that remind them why they play hockey in the first place. In this blog post, I will discuss the importance of unlocking the joy in summer hockey camps and how to focus on what truly matters.

My Expectations for Summer Hockey Camp

As a coach, I always have high expectations for my players. When I decided to organize a summer hockey camp this year, I envisioned high-paced competitive small-area games where the kids could showcase their skills. I had hoped to challenge them, push them outside of their comfort zones, and create an atmosphere of healthy competition.

I was excited to see how the kids would perform, and I imagined the enthusiasm that would arise when they realized they had the potential to win. I wanted to motivate them to play to the best of their abilities and inspire a sense of teamwork and camaraderie amongst the group.

I had my plans in order, ready to begin the first drills of the day.

However, my expectations quickly shifted as I realized that the kids didn’t have the same competitive mindset as me. They were in the summer spirit, simply excited to be on the ice playing with their friends. They didn’t care who won or who lost; they just wanted to have fun.

As a coach, it was humbling to realize that I had placed too much emphasis on competition. While competition is important in youth sports, it is equally essential to prioritize the enjoyment of playing. For these kids, hockey camp was an opportunity to have a good time, not a chance to show off their skills.

From this experience, I learned to adjust my expectations and prioritize the joy of play. By focusing on creating a fun, positive atmosphere, the kids were able to have a great time and even learn a few things along the way. As a coach, it’s important to remember that youth sports are about much more than just winning – it’s about creating positive experiences and building memories that last a lifetime.

The Reality of What the Kids Want

As much as I was looking forward to high-energy, competitive games at summer hockey camp, I quickly realized that’s not what the kids wanted. In fact, it was the complete opposite. They just wanted to play and have fun without any pressure or stress. I’ll admit, it was hard to let go of my expectations, but once I did, it was so much more enjoyable for everyone involved.

The kids were free to just enjoy themselves and play without the fear of making mistakes or being judged by their peers. They didn’t care about winning or losing, they just wanted to have fun and be with their friends. It was a good reminder that sometimes we need to let go of our own desires and expectations and just go with the flow.

As coaches and parents, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that winning is everything, but sometimes we forget that these are just kids who want to enjoy the game they love. It’s important to give them the freedom to do just that without any added pressure. And in the end, the memories they create from playing freely and having fun are the ones they’ll cherish for years to come.

Finding the Joy in Simple Play

As the summer hockey camp progressed, I noticed that the kids didn’t seem as interested in the high pace competitive games that I had envisioned. At first, I was disappointed. I wanted to see them push themselves and show off their skills. But as I took a step back and observed their behavior, I realized that they just wanted to have fun. They didn’t care about winning or losing. It was JULY, and they were just happy to be outside playing hockey with their friends.

It was a refreshing reminder to me that sometimes, as adults, we can get caught up in the competitive aspect of sports and forget about the joy that comes from just playing. Watching the kids skate around, laughing and having fun, reminded me that at the end of the day, that’s what youth sports should be about. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about creating an environment where kids can enjoy themselves, learn new skills, and build lasting friendships.

Moving forward, I plan on incorporating more opportunities for simple play into my coaching. I want to focus on creating an environment that fosters joy and love for the game. I’ve learned that it’s important to balance competition with fun and to recognize that the kids’ desires should always be at the forefront. After all, it’s their experience that matters most.

Lessons Learned on What Truly Matters in Youth Sports

Through my experience running a summer hockey camp, I learned some valuable lessons on what truly matters in youth sports. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that children are children. While it’s great to encourage competitiveness and push them to reach their full potential, it’s equally important to let them enjoy the game and simply have fun.

Kids have enough pressure in their lives, and youth sports should not add to that stress. Instead, it should provide an opportunity to play, build friendships, and learn life skills such as teamwork and sportsmanship. As coaches, our job is to facilitate this experience and create a positive environment where children can thrive.

It’s also crucial to understand that not every child will have the same level of talent or desire to compete. As coaches, we must respect their individual needs and goals and find ways to include them in the team. Inclusive coaching not only benefits the child but also promotes a healthy team dynamic and a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

In summary, what truly matters in youth sports is not just about winning games or producing star athletes. It’s about creating a safe and fun environment where children can grow, build relationships, and learn important life skills. As coaches, we must focus on facilitating this experience and creating lasting memories for our young athletes.

Embracing the Moment and Creating Lasting Memories

After realizing that the kids at my summer hockey camp were more interested in playing than competing, I decided to embrace the moment and focus on creating lasting memories. I realized that as a coach, my main priority was to make sure that the kids had a great time and learned some valuable lessons along the way.

I encouraged the kids to let loose and play with joy, and to focus on their love for the game rather than winning or losing. We played games that were fun and challenging, but not overly competitive, and we celebrated each other’s successes.

As a result, the kids seemed to enjoy the camp even more, and they formed lasting bonds with each other and with me as their coach. They didn’t care about the final score or the individual statistics, but rather the memories they had made and the friendships they had formed.

I learned that youth sports are not just about winning or losing, but about teaching kids important life lessons and providing them with a positive and supportive environment to grow and develop. As a coach, it is important to embrace the moment and to focus on creating lasting memories, rather than solely on winning or losing.

Like this article? Check out more like it,

Sharing is caring!