Hockey Coaching: 3 Tips on Providing Feedback to Your Players

July 19, 2012

Must See Hockey Videos

As a coach, communicating with your athletes can be challenging, because you have to be at once a teacher, supporter and enforcer. A key component of coaching hockey is to give your players feedback that will help them grow individually and perform better as a team. Below are three tips to help you maximize the impact of your feedback, build relationships with your athletes and help them stay confident. Depending on your coaching style, some of them may be hard to adopt, so set small, achievable goals at first to practice giving feedback. Eventually it will become more natural.

Seek Feedback First

Before giving your players your opinion, ask them for theirs. Focus your inquiry on what they did well and what they feel they need to correct. This benefits you as a coach by providing opportunities to get to know your players and offering a gauge on whether and how your coaching is reaching them. Also it will show your players that you respect their judgment and knowledge of the game, ultimately helping them become more self-sufficient and self-aware. In the beginning, this approach can be challenging, especially with young players. You will often hear the answer, "I don't know." But this kind of appreciative inquiry can help players think more critically about their actions, ultimately improving their performance.

Less Is More

Players often need to correct more than one thing on any given play or practice; however, dishing out all of your constructive criticism at once can overwhelm, and evenĀ distract, them. Most young athletes can only focus on a few instructions while performing, so giving them one or two things to work on at a time is more effective. Also, hearing a long litany of what they did wrong can be discouraging and sap their confidence.

Balance Feedback

It's your job to give constructive criticism to your players, but some coaches fail to offer enough specific positive feedback. Positive feedback builds your athletes' confidence so they can continue improving. To help balance your feedback, try sandwiching your critical comments with positive ones. For example, "That was a good shot. Next time shoot the puck at the hash marks. Keep working hard."

Check out more coaching advice on STACK's Coaches and Trainers page.

Photo Credit: blog.alaskananooks.com

Topics: HOCKEY
Meaghan McCarthy
- Meaghan McCarthy works with athletes of all ages, sports and skill levels as the owner and head mental performance consultant of M3 Sport Psych in...
Meaghan McCarthy
- Meaghan McCarthy works with athletes of all ages, sports and skill levels as the owner and head mental performance consultant of M3 Sport Psych in...
Must See
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 6,692,967
Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 4,984,497
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,873,795

Featured Videos

Get in Shape for Baseball With Austin Adams' Metabolic Conditioning Circuit Views: 2,372
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 7,149
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 330,200
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 848,711
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,309,063
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 883,074
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 4,541,559
Dwyane Wade Jumps Onto a 42" Box
Views: 10,741,081

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Some of you may have heard the UNDERLOAD/ OVERLOAD buzzwords around baseball gurus the last bunch of years for velocity training for pitchers in...

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Teach the Layup with the Two-Step Drill

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

The Football Route Tree, Explained

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel