How to Increase Motivation and Performance through Goal Setting

Success in sports, as in any other achievement arena, depends on both skill and motivation. Skill and motivation are intimately related to one another. Athletes who are not motivated to develop their skills will probably not achieve their potential, and inadequate skills will not allow athletes to achieve their goals. Read more

Top Coach Advice from Grow the Game Contest

A theme quickly emerges when it comes to top advice from coaches—and that is effort. Just keep trying your best, no matter what’s happening, and you’ll have fun and get fit. Becoming a better player will take care of itself. Read more

Dressing Your Mite with Ease

Wrangling kids into their equipment in crowded, noisy locker rooms can be stressful even for pro hockey players. If you’ve never played hockey, the equipment can be a mystery—and it offers plenty of opportunities for do-overs: Put the shin guards on before the breezers, for example, and you’re sunk. Try it under time pressure, and it’s a recipe for frustration for you and your player. Follow these tips from veteran parents and you’ll be dressing your kid like a pro before long—plus teaching him or her to take over. Read more

6 Tips for Building Team Camaraderie

The best hockey seasons, win or lose, happen when everyone on a team gets along. When every player is supportive and friendly, practice and games—and the locker room—are fun. Nothing, even losing, causes more misery to parents and players than cliques and bullying in the locker room and on the ice. Plus, results on the ice indicate that closer-knit teams do perform better. So it’s no wonder that many coaches devote so much energy to ensuring that players not only improve their stickhandling skills but also their friendships. Read more

What Not to Say in the Lobby

When you or your kids play hockey, you spend so much time in ice hockey rinks that you start to feel at home. You feel perfectly comfortable standing around the lobby or snack bar, analyzing the team, players, practice, coaches, refs and game. But guess what? You’re not at home, you’re not in your car—you’re out in public with other parents, players and their entourages around. And chances are, someone’s listening. Read more

How to Help Your Player Set and Achieve Goals

Goal setting is one of many psychological strategies that can help athletes achieve peak performances. The process of setting goals not only influences athletes’ performances, but it is linked to positive changes in a variety of psychological states such as motivation and confidence. Additionally, goal setting is a tool that can be beneficial in all areas of life, including school. Because of this, parents should teach goal-setting techniques to their young athletes. Read more

Mnemonic Device Contest Winner: My Sweet Pass Blew Minds

For the last couple weeks we asked for helping creating a (politically correct) mnemonic device for remembering hockey’s progression through Mite, Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget—given that it is impossible to guess that a Midget is larger than a Pee Wee. Thanks to our winner, Kristen, who wrote the active and gender-neutral “My Sweet Pass Blew Minds.” We hope she and her family use the prize, a $50 gift certificate from, to continue working on passing! Read more

Glossary: Overcommit

An attacking forward has the puck in your team’s zone. Spectators are yelling for the defense to stop him, but the defense aren’t making a move. You start yelling, “Go after him! What are you doing?!” But the defense is already doing exactly what they should be doing. Read more

Real-World Grocery Shopping List

In our effort to keep you out of the drive-thru lane—thereby saving your time, money and arteries—Grow the Game’s nutritionist put together a handy shopping list for you. This list focuses on healthy foods that need little to no preparation and kids are sure (well, likely) to like. You just may reach that holy grail of a take-out free week of hockey. Read more

Stocking Your Fridge for Success

Add hockey practices and games to an already busy life and you’ll find that you spend way more time at one place: the drive-thru window. One way to get a handle on this is to make sure your refrigerator and pantry are stocked with healthy, easy-to-prepare foods that—and this is key—that kids will eat. Read more

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