Hockey teamCoaching is more than tactics and gameplay. The more important essence lies in the goal to win or at least match the opponent. To say that motivating is just as easy as saying ‘You can do it’ is an understatement. It can be frustrating at times, especially if your players have invested in the play emotionally.

One common mistake many coaches make is motivating the team through fear. It may be the easiest way, but it can easily foster disloyalty and antipathy. Coaches should strive to develop new approaches that come with long-term benefits.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Give them Purpose

Your team will find no purpose in your motivation if they think that what they do has no purpose. A sense of purpose can change the philosophy of the player. It will help them understand the reasons they need to work hard and win. You may create a manifesto that will serve as the team’s compass when times get rough.

Make the Goal Easily Understood

See to it that the team understands the goals for each game. Encourage them to voice their opinions over the slated tactics. That way, you are not only coaching; you are also turning them into proactive leaders.

Treat Motivation as a Way of Life

According to, you should treat motivation as a way of life for both you and your players.

Motivation should not just happen on the day of the competition. It should happen every practice. If you have started off jaded and ineffective, your team will find it hard to absorb all your pep talks on the big day.

Avoid Degrading Remarks

Do not hurl humiliating words at your players if they fail to meet the team’s goals. Doing this is a way of equating their performance with their self-worth, which can be damaging. Your players may harbour resentment or worse, blame themselves for being not good enough.

Above all, listen with empathy. Motivation is not a one-way street. You are also supposed to learn from your players.

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