Give an award for the player with the best injury of the season.
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Hockey can be a tough and grueling game for the players. When they're worn out and beaten up every week, they may need additional encouragement to stay motivated. Whether you're the coach or a fellow player, you can motivate your team even if you're not on a winning streak.
Hockey is a team sport, but sometimes the team feels down and just can't pull it together. Giving an entire team a single phrase or motivating message that they can strive for together can help. When a team has a slogan or a single theme that becomes their goal, they can repeat the theme to one another when times get tough. They can yell out the phrase during training for an extra bit of motivation or right before they go out on the ice. Kim McCullough, a former player for the Canadian Women's Hockey League, suggests phrases like "you can have results or excuses. Not both," and "there will be many difficult obstacles in your path. Don't let yourself be one of them."
Sometimes giving hockey members more autonomy can make a big difference in motivation. The Minnesota Hockey website suggests that winning may not be enough of a motivation by itself without players having purpose and a feeling of mastery over the game. The site suggests holding off on negative comments and giving players a bit of freedom. Let players have a chance to create their own versions of plays during practice to test and see if they work. This can be really motivating because it also allows for creativity and gives players a chance to practice coaching.
Sometimes players lose motivation because they become bored or discouraged from working all the time without having a little fun. If burnout is the cause of players' lack of motivation, then letting them do something completely different for awhile can give them a chance to cool down, take a break and find their motivation again. For example, maybe let the group go ice skating instead of playing hockey to ease the burnout. Or let the team play a different sport together, like basketball. If you want to add to the challenge, try playing a different sport while wearing hockey gear, like playing baseball while on the ice.
Team awards can provide a different type of motivation. By giving team awards, you can give each member a chance to feel important. The awards don't have to be serious; funny awards can go a long way in adding to motivation. For example, you can give an award for the team member who had the best injury of the season. Of course, you can also offer serious awards for players who scored the most points or improved the most from the beginning to the end of the season.