We have all seen the classic scenario, the angry hockey coach simply ripping into the boys or gals after a disappointing first period. It is a scenario that we have seen across the country in the minors for years, and yet elite hockey players are taught to suck it up and take it with conviction. The old school way of thinking is so what, deal with it and move on. Well here at Roster Point we do not agree, and when you are faced with dealing with a negative coach, there are a few tricks to help you thrive from the situation.
Be patient and know they are coming from a good place
Coaches care, and especially minor hockey and junior hockey coaches. These guys love the sport and will run through a brick wall for you; they simply do not know how to show it. Many negative coaches are coming from the old school style of coaching, which means that it is all tough love, and zero time for sensitivity. Yelling about how you screwed up the forecheck is a beneficial coaching tool for them, and no matter how you react, that is their mentality. Remember, it is not you; it is the team. Think about how you can better improve your play the next time on the ice, and go from there. You deserve to be at that level, so play like it!
Ask for some face time
Sometimes coaches are not even aware they are negative and it takes a quick sit down to make them see their coaching style towards you is not working. We have seen it too many times over the years in junior hockey and minor hockey. A player will disappear on a team due to the coach only to showcase greatly on a Spring team or at another level. What if that player sat down with their coach and chatted about the effects their style had on them, could they have been a star on the roster?
Chat with your support team
No matter if you are playing away from home with billets or at home with your parents, you have a support network that is away from the rink, use them! This support network can help guide how to best approach a negative coach and deal with some of the stress that comes with it. There are a few avenues to take, and luckily you will be able to turn to those who are not only older but have probably faced similar issues to help you get over the hump.
Dealing with a negative coach is never a good experience, but the best option for young players is to talk about it. We talk about bringing grit and toughness to the ice, but for those who are a little more sensitive, a negative coach could spell disaster for their season and confidence. To avoid that, make sure to talk with your coach or your support team to ensure you have a way forward that ensures success for both you and your team. It is not a simple task, but do not let a negative coach ruin your hockey future!