There is a great deal to say about this fairly vague title. When I have the time to dive deeper and set the context more fully, this topic (and others) will split off into at least a couple of more focused threads.
For now, the place marker is to establish a dialogue with one’s self, team, players’ parents, and coaching staff about what the expectations are for a given season. What is the level of play? What is the expected level of competition? What type of experience and coaching/training are the players bringing to the table?
In youth hockey, as in many other areas of sports and performance (all of this is just as important in the arts and music, mind you), the level of competition continues to increase, expectations follow, and those gaps are fertile ground for, yet a fine line between, either a tremendous learning experience or a horrible experience for all of those involved.
What skill set do you have to navigate this crucial territory? What are the means and frequency of communication between players, coaches, and parents? How do you know when you’re headed in the right direction and when you’re headed down a detrimental path?
These are only three of a countless number of questions to be asked. And here is a place to discover the answers.