Friday, November 18, 2011

Playing Tough and Clean Hockey Player and Coach Programs

The Playing Tough and Clean Hockey Program was something I developed following my experiences as a youth hockey director. Countless times I watched players get involved in dirty or chippy play that later caused fights, scrums, and cheap shots. I then had to suspend players that got involved in the more serious incidents which was never fun.

Playing Tough and Clean Hockey Program in the News!

Want to know what also was striking about the dirty play of youth hockey players? Rarely did a dirty player actually play good hockey that game. It is not like the NHL where players are very smart about their dirty play and use it to intimidate or get under the skin of their opponent. Players that were playing dirty took penalties, spent more time on the bench, and played worse hockey!

Something else struck me, the sport psychology concepts I was learning in graduate school at the University of North Carolina Greensboro could be applied to these situations. I believed it could work because, well, it worked for me. I had a temper and struggled to manage my emotions. Using the mental skills and taking on the philosophy I was immersed in at UNC Greensboro allowed me to change my dirty, aggressive play in hockey.

This has created some credibility for me when I work with hockey players. In their first meetings with me they are usually convinced that what we are doing won't change their dirty play. But, once they learn about how I and others have developed emotional toughness skills that allows us to respond positive in negative situations they begin to consider it. However, the true buy-in only occurs when the player finally decides that he has control not over how he feels but how he reacts to his feelings on and off the ice.

The Playing Tough and Clean Hockey Program does not attempt to make players weak or remove emotion from the game. Instead, the purpose is to allow players to USE the emotions they are feeling to their performance advantage. This is a skill that is not taught in our society but is absolutely vital in all walks of life. This Program helps players stay safe, stay out of the penalty box, and play better hockey.

I have been training coaches to teach the Tough and Clean Program to their teams with Michigan Amateur Hockey Association with my good friend Gord Bowman. I also continue to apply the principles taught in the program to players that I come in to contact with that need this assistance. Finally, MAHA and I have taken steps to create an online Tough and Clean Program but it is still in development.

If you have a child that is aggressive and plays over the edge, taking penalties, risking injury give me a call or send me an email. I can provide in person and long distance consulting for players to stay out of the penalty box, stay safe, and play better hockey.

No comments:

Post a Comment