21 Nov

How To Contribute To A Winning Season

Youth Hockey tips

Former Chicago Wolves Coach, Don Granato and his five siblings, played many sports while growing up.  However, it was their love of hockey that survived.  As Mom of these die-hard hockey fans, I want to share my insight on how hockey translates to family fun.


TIP  # 3    How To Contribute To A Winning Season

Ready.  Get set.  Let’s play hockey!  Okay, the season has started.  You are excited to be learning from your coaches, on the ice at practice and during the games.  You are trying to be a responsible player by taking care of your equipment, doing your homework and being ready for your ice time.

Is there anything more you can do to contribute to a winning season?  Depending on your age, there are many things that will help. Below are some of the ways my own young hockey players helped themselves to get better at the game.


  1. Went to practice anxious to learn new skills and drills.   
  2. Paid attention to their coaches words and examples.  If they didn’t understand, they asked questions until they had the answer.
  3. Tried to follow through with their coaches’ advice.
  4. Didn’t whine about what line they played on.  Accepted that their coach would move them up when they got better.
  5. Would practice stickhandling at home with a tennis ball in the basement, garage or driveway.
  6. Read books about hockey and their favorite players.
  7. Watched pro hockey games in person or on TV.  Paid attention to the guy who was playing their position…..forward, defense or goalie.
  8. Loved hockey so much that they played it constantly, on their knees, at the kitchen table, even in their head!
  9. As they got old enough to understand about good nutrition, they were careful what they put into their mouth.
  10. By the time they were teenagers, they were doing pre-season conditioning to get ready for their fall schedule.  

Each player will contribute something really special from time-to-time.  You might be the boy who sets up the winning goal.  Maybe you’ll be the girl who stops a breakaway.  One day, you might just be the kid on the bench whose positive attitude pumps up his team to come from behind and win !  How do you get to be that special player?  You learn and grow to know more about the game of hockey as each year passes.  Eventually you will see that a successful season isn’t always decided by league stats.  If you play hockey with heart because you love the game, you will always contribute to a winning season.  And don’t forget, GO WOLVES !!!


Wolves head coach, Don Grantao, with his mom, Natalie.Natalie Granato is the mother of former Wolves Coach Don Granato.  A true Hockey Mom in every sense of the word, Natalie has attended thousands of games while parenting her six children, four of whom play hockey.  From the small outdoor rinks that her kids skated on to the International and Professional games she’s attended, nothing thrills Natalie more than to share her family’s love of hockey with others.  Write Natalie@usamom21.com with your comments.






Last modified on Monday, 02 July 2012 17:07