Coaches: What to Expect on Game Day

For coaches, game day is an action-packed, fast-paced day. Whether it’s your first-time coaching or you’re looking for a refresher, we’ve outlined exactly what you can expect on game day—with tips—so you’re set up for success. 


Be prepared 

Give yourself a few extra minutes in the morning to ensure you’ve packed all your equipment, and whatever else you need to run a practice and coach your game. You also want to arrive early—we recommend 15 to 20 minutes—to set up. Most NHL STREET leagues have a tent on site with staff available, if you have any questions or need help. 


Conduct a short practice 

You’ll run a short 30-minute practice before your game, as NHL STREET leagues only meet once per week. Check out our tips on how to easily create a practice plan with drills on fundamental skills. After practice, you’ll move right into your game, so you want to have your starting roster and substitution plan set. 


Keep it simple 

We can’t reiterate this enough—when it comes to youth sports, simpler is better. Trust us, the last thing you want is to get tied up on game day explaining things that are too complicated for your age division. Direct your kids when necessary, but focus on basic concepts like which direction to run, how many passes to try and make before shooting, etc. 


Build up their confidence 

Street hockey is an engaging game where every player makes an impact on the court—but they can also make mistakes. And as their coach, it’s important to stay positive throughout the entire game, while encouraging sportsmanship and respectful sideline behaviors. 

Also keep in mind that younger players have a wide range of abilities—some come with experience and coordination, while others are new to the sport. Give every athlete on your team a chance to play their favorite position (spoiler: it’s goalie) and keep inclusivity top of mind. Remember: NFL STREET is designed to give every youth athlete an opportunity to play. 


Make it fun 

It’s no secret that youth sports continue to become more competitive. But at the end of the game, every kid wants the same thing: to have fun. There might be moments during your season where some players (or quite frankly, parents) lose sight of this. And as their coach, you can be the role model who always keeps street hockey fun. 

For example, you can pick a “special assistant coach” every game to help you develop plays. Or you can create a signup chart for parents to bring a snack at the end of every game, giving families a chance to socialize. During your practices, you can play a silly game with your players. The list goes on and on. As long as you keep fun at the foundation, both you and your players will have a positive, meaningful experience. 

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