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

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.

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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.

5 thoughts on “Building Team Cohesion – Coaching Youth Hockey with Dr. Larry Lauer

  • March 25, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    My main concern in the current organization that I am in is the lack of loyalty to an organization. It seems to be a sign of the time for example a player like LeBron James flip flops while Jordan spent his whole career on the Bulls.
    What I am looking for is a 5-7 minute podcast with hockey-lifers, professionals, weekend warriors and even 1st time hockey parents to talk with me and I will publish a podcast describing their experience and things of note in regard to youth hockey.
    There are a lot of misguided parents that thing they are making the best choices for their athletes but personally I have always been about trying to stay loyal.
    So I was wondering if you would be able to have a phone conversation or a skype conversation with me for about 7-10 minutes concerning youth hockey.
    I currently finished coaching Mite A,and was asked to be the Squirt A coach.

  • March 15, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Hi, I am a 35 year coach with experience from mite/RWB to HS. and all points in between. While not a professional coach, I am a lifer with a great interest in creating better teaching practices among youth coaches. At the moment my bent is what I call “guilt free accountability” i would like to find a way for teams to communicate without conflict. Coach to player , player to coach, and player to player. This season we used a nonverbal communication that worked very well. My Ph. number is 608 695 0978 608 831 5547 My name is Tony Libert and I currently coach squirt 1 for Middleton wings in Middleton Wi. And I am crazy but call and you will see

    • April 30, 2016 at 11:41 pm

      Hi Tony,
      This is a compelling comment. Did you mean for me (Stephen Walker) to call or were you wanting to open your phone up to any and all of our readers who may have similar interest. Please write me back at [email protected] and I’ll follow up on that. Thanks.

  • December 28, 2017 at 1:15 am

    Hi Steve
    On the website. Looking good. Will share thoughts. I called the number however didn’t get an answer or a voice mail.


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