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What do you do with a kid who is the best practice player on the team..understands, competes, works hard, scores, moves his feet and the puck..in practice. Game time comes and it seems he locks up..just another hurdle or something more?
Sorry that kid's gonna get cut!
Start by telling him to go have fun. Then when he gets in the car ask if he had fun. Limit your conversations to that..... I find most kids that cant perform in games have parents that spend too much time lecturing them about the game etc.... they are too worried about making a mistake.. have fun play hard get a slice of pizza.... talk about something else in the car.
Performance anxiety is real and sometimes it doesn't go away. Kid on my son's high school team had every junior team begging for him to play and it turns out the kid had terrible anxiety and pretty much quit the game. The kid was smart, big, strong, great skater and you would never know he suffered from it by watching him play but it made the kid's life miserable. He even said he loved practice but hated games.
Exactly...now when you are done working out honey, go make me my breakfast. And as we talked about, please only open your mouth for one, and only one reason....