The profound effect of “shortening the bench” in kids sport

There is no good reason for a coach to bench a child playing a sport.

In the latest podcast from the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, Richard Monette, editor-in-chief of Active for Life, talks about the importance of looking at player time and lineups from the perspective of the child.

And most kids don’t play sports to win, but to have fun.

Benching kids, for whatever reason, impacts the child’s idea of their own self worth. No matter what they may be told, their interpretation of the situation is that they aren’t good enough.

And as Richard explains, this can have a long lasting effect.

Richard has been consulting with professional athletes and Olympians for more than 25 years, and says there is one rule that applies to them all: Players only play to the level they believe they can play at.

It is, he suggests, up to every coach to commit to developing players for life. Even if that means losing a game now and then.

You can listen to the conversation below.

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