The Five Star 5 – Leadership Lessons From Coaching Kids Hockey


I never thought being an assistant coach for my son’s six-year-old hockey team would be easy, but there is  more to it then I thought!

I have learned many leadership lessons from the experience, and here are my favourites:

  • Patience – Many of these kids still sleep with teddy bears. They are very young and their development takes time
  • Encouragement – “High-Fives, pats on the back, and a “great job” goes a long way for their confidence
  • Focus On The Positive – We tend to focus on what is being done wrong, that we sometimes forget to reward what is being done right
  • “Sandwich Method” – Put a suggestion for an area of improvement between two positive comments
  • SMILE – Then laugh with them, and make them feel comfortable. It is truly about having fun, developing skills, and learning what it means to be part of a team

As I was writing this, I realized many of these points can be related to managing in the corporate world, or business in general. At least, I thought I could inspire other coaches who may need some new perspective!

If kids are not inspired by their coaches, there are many other activities that they can do these days. Each interaction with them is critical to building that connection.

Is it time to tweak your coaching, managing or general leading philosophies?


About Tim Mushey

Dynamic and energized sales rep, mentor and leader since 1999. This blog will be about sales, social networking, personal branding, leadership, music and having some laughs! Don’t be surprised if I mix it up on occasion, and talk about something totally different! I thrive on being part of successful, forward thinking teams. I am ready to go from the moment my feet hit the floor each morning, with the expectation that new adventures will be coming my way. It is rare that there isn't a smile on my face, as I take it all in, and have some fun along the way!

Posted on December 15, 2013, in Five Star 5 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Tim, I have found that many principles that apply to home apply to work, and vice versa. By far the majority of the workshops I facilitate are presented from a corporate or work perspective, but the one thing I always say to participants is that many of the principles reviewed through out the day can be taken home as well. I know I wish I’d been more familiar with conflict resolution techniques when my children were in their teens!

  2. Thanks Tim, I have pinched this for my blog. You are bang on.

  3. Great points Tim, and I bet you are having tons of fun with those young players. Bless you for investing in them. I really like your sandwich method, I had not heard it put that way before, thank you!

  4. @Tim, nice post. I have also coached roller hockey, been Cub Master, and other kid-involved roles. One thing that I found important was to always have the next item to be more fun than the current one. For instance, in hockey we always had the fun skill games at the end of practice. It meant that you finished on a fun note and that you wanted to get to the end to get to the fun. Meetings should be as organized. Instead, many adult meetings end up on a down note with a whimper…not a bang.

    • Hi Tim! Thanks for stopping by! I just love your comments. Fun is an integral part of the learning process. The best part is with many of the fun games, they don’t even realize that they are developing skills!

      I agree adult meetings can be a bit of a downer, when they should be very positive and up beat.

      Thanks again for stopping by!

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