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Building Team Cohesion – Coaching Youth Hockey with Dr. Larry Lauer

October 1, 2012
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Podcast of the Week – Dr. Larry Lauer – Keys to Coaching Youth Hockey

Dr. Larry Lauer is the Director of Coaching Education and Development at Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports.  He has played hockey for many years and continues to coach the game.  As a AASP certified sport psychology consultant, he works with both pro and Division I hockey players while fully engaged in forward-thinking coaching education programs in all sports, but especially hockey.  His doctoral thesis was awarded the distinguished dissertation award from the National Association of Sport & Physical Education (NASPA) as he researched and tested methods for teaching emotional management skills in Youth Hockey.  Coaching in youth sports is challenging at any level because the relationships with players, administrators and parents can derail even the best of intentions.  Youth coaching done right is based on some simple principles Dr. Larry Lauer has shared with us in today’s podcast.  He is a USA Hockey certified coach Level 5 and has been playing and coaching hockey his entire life.  To say he is committed to the sport is a clear understatement.  He honors us with wisdom, great common sense and a clarity on how to coach at any team sport.

In this Podcast of the Week – Lauer speaks to creating and developing great team cohesion, a very challenging task for a coach at any level, but Lauer’s suggestions are not only practical they work.  He’s sets standards in excellence for coaching which proceed from being great in the won-loss column.  He believes that that success begins with “knowing your personnel well, and “how to incorporate these core players in setting the bar for helping the team recognize its identity, mission and each players role in helping to achieve success.  He speaks to developing the quiet players in ways that their leadership and participation round  out the cohesion that makes a good team great.

He encourages coaches to be genuine above all else, and offers some methods coaches can use to “turn the season around even when things aren’t going well.”  Thanks Larry – your input is not only sound but incredibly valuable for coaches in any team sport.

Check out his blog at Dr. Larry Lauer

Larry Lauer, PhD, is the Director of Coaching Education and Development at the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, Michigan State University. Lauer is a researcher, consultant, writer, and speaker on performance enhancement, coaching, parenting, talent development, aggression in sport, and positive youth development. Named one of the 100 Most Influential Sport Educators in America by the Institute for International Sport, Lauer is listed in the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry, 2008-2012, is a volunteer assistant coach for MSU Men’s Tennis, and serves as the sport psychology consultant to USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. Recently, Lauer spent three years evaluating the youth development effectiveness of Think Detroit Police Athletic League (TDP), an organization providing sports to youth in Detroit with a mission of building character. He also trains coaches to develop leadership and life skills in their athletes, and developed an intervention to prevent hockey players from playing dirty and aggressive (The Playing Tough and Clean Hockey Program) which landed him the 2006 Sport and Exercise Psychology Dissertation Award from Sport and Exercise Psychology Academy of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. He recently finished a series of research studies on the role of parents in junior tennis funded by the United States Tennis Association.

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