How To Coach An Uncoachable Hockey Player

How To Coach An Uncoachable Hockey Player
Coaching hockey players can be challenging, especially when dealing with players who seem uncoachable. However, with the right approach, it is possible to effectively coach these players and help them improve their skills. Here are five supporting facts on how to coach an uncoachable hockey player:

1. Understand the player’s perspective: An uncoachable player may have various reasons for their behavior, such as past negative experiences or a lack of confidence. Understanding their perspective can help you approach them with empathy and patience.

2. Build trust: Building a strong relationship based on trust is crucial when coaching an uncoachable player. Show them that you believe in their potential and are genuinely invested in their development. This can help create a positive atmosphere for learning.

3. Set clear expectations: Clearly communicate your expectations and goals for the player. Setting achievable short-term and long-term targets can motivate them to work harder and strive for improvement.

4. Individualize the coaching approach: Recognize that each player is unique and may respond differently to coaching methods. Tailor your approach to suit the player’s learning style, strengths, and weaknesses. Implement a mix of positive reinforcement, constructive criticism, and specific feedback to keep them engaged.

5. Focus on the process: Emphasize the importance of the learning process rather than solely focusing on the outcome or performance. Encourage the player to set small, attainable goals and celebrate progress, regardless of the final result.


1. How should I approach an uncoachable player during practice?
When dealing with an uncoachable player during practice, it is essential to maintain a calm and patient demeanor. Provide clear instructions, demonstrate the correct techniques, and offer constant encouragement. Keeping the atmosphere positive and supportive can help them feel more comfortable and open to learning.

2. How can I motivate an uncoachable player?
Motivating an uncoachable player requires understanding their personal motivations. Take the time to engage in one-on-one conversations and identify what drives them. Use that information to set specific, achievable goals that align with their desires, and provide regular feedback and recognition of their progress.

3. What if an uncoachable player resists feedback or exhibits a negative attitude?
If an uncoachable player resists feedback or demonstrates a negative attitude, it is important to address the issue promptly. Schedule a private conversation with the player to understand their concerns, provide constructive feedback, and explain how their behavior impacts the team. Offer solutions or resources to address their concerns and encourage them to see feedback as an opportunity for growth.

4. Can I use disciplinary measures to coach an uncoachable player?
While it may be tempting to use disciplinary measures, such as benching or harsh punishments, it is generally not recommended as the primary coaching strategy for uncoachable players. Instead, focus on building a positive relationship, enhancing communication, and fostering trust. Disciplinary actions should be reserved as a last resort and only used when absolutely necessary.

5. How long does it take to coach an uncoachable player successfully?
The time it takes to coach an uncoachable player successfully varies depending on the individual. It depends on factors such as their willingness to change, the extent of their uncoachable behavior, and the amount of effort they invest in their development. Be patient and consistent with your coaching approach, as progress may take time.

6. Should I involve parents or guardians when coaching an uncoachable player?
Involving parents or guardians can be beneficial when coaching an uncoachable player, especially if there are underlying issues affecting their behavior. Communicate openly with the parents and enlist their support to facilitate positive change. Keep them updated on the player’s progress and seek their input if necessary.

7. What if despite my efforts, the player remains uncoachable?
While it is disheartening if a player remains uncoachable despite your efforts, it is essential to accept that not everyone can be positively influenced. Focus on creating a supportive team environment and directing your attention to players who are receptive to coaching. Seek advice from other experienced coaches or mentors to explore alternative strategies.

BOTTOM LINE: Coaching an uncoachable hockey player requires patience, understanding, and a tailored approach. Building trust, setting clear expectations, and emphasizing the learning process are crucial steps. Address any issues promptly, involve parents if necessary, and remember that not all players may be receptive to coaching despite your best efforts.