He shoots — he scores! Nothing is more exciting than when you see your child skate, shoot or stop the puck while playing midget hockey. Hockey is a terrific sport to involve children in, and teaches young people more than just how to avoid off-sides penalties. Let’s examine some ways that midget hockey helps develop skills both on and off the ice.
Hockey is a sport that involves not just the use of one’s body, but also the ability to stick handle while navigating a puck and skates. Gross motor skills, which include large movements with arms and legs, are highlighted when children push off to skate or swing their arms while speeding down the ice. Fine motor skills, which involve more intricate use of hands, fingers and wrists, are developed when they hold a stick, flick their wrists for a shot or handle the puck.
Tempers can become heated during a physical game. Youth hockey, unlike its professional counterpart, does not encourage fighting. In fact, kids who fight on the ice often face potential expulsion from their leagues. Instead, kids are taught the tools to keep their emotions in check and use their feelings to fuel their skills, not their fists. The end-of-game handshake with the opposing team also forces kids to see their “enemy” and be gracious, either in victory or defeat.
Hockey games have a clear winner and loser. Children who struggle with the concept of “losing” often are seen as poor sports off the ice, unable to cope when things don’t go their way. This is a detriment that can follow them all the way to adulthood; think of people you’ve seen in college or the workforce who crumble when they’ve failed at something. Hockey teaches kids that they have another game, and they’ll take lessons learned from the loss to improve the next time.
Kids on youth hockey teams need to work with their teammates and communicate in order to be successful. These are skills that they’ll use in the classroom and the playground, as well as throughout their adult lives. Kids on youth hockey teams also make a tight-knit, core group of friends whom they’ll keep with them throughout their childhood.
Youth hockey does much more than produce the next Gretzky, Crosby or Malkin. It creates athletically active kids who can work well with others in a fast-paced environment. You could say that midget hockey is preparing our next group of doctors, lawyers and successful businessmen, as well!