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Hal Tearse (Hockey Coach): Less Pressure To Win and More Patience From Parents Needed

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Editors Note: This blog is part of a special series on dads which originally ran in 2012. Because it is timeless we are sharing it again. 

Being the father of an athlete is a challenging yet rewarding role. At MomsTEAM we think sports dads deserve to be honored, not just on the third Sunday in June, but for an entire month. So we have designated June as National Sports Dads Month and invited some veteran sports dads to share their wisdom by responding to a series of questions (the same ones we asked sports moms in May). We will post a new blog for every day of June, which we hope you will find interesting, empowering, and informative, and that you will share them with your family and friends.

Today we hear from MomsTEAM blogger, longtime hockey coach and hockey safety advocate, Hal Tearse. Hal Tearse

MomsTEAM: Were you an athlete and what sports did you play as a youth (under 19)?

Tearse: I played hockey, soccer and lacrosse in high school

MomsTEAM: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a sports dad?

Tearse: Seeing my kids improve and experience all of the lessons playing on team sports can provide. They had mostly good coaches, some terrible coaches, and a few really good coaches. Both of them learned something from each experience playing the sports they love.

MomsTEAM: What lesson has your sports active child taught you?

Tearse: Since I have been a coach for the past 40 years I was not surprised regarding the things they learned. As a parent, however, it was enlightening to have a player at home and seeing the parent side of youth sports. It made me a better coach.

MomsTEAM: What is the most important lesson your child is learning from his/her sport?

Tearse: Resilience and perseverance.

MomsTEAM: If you could "flip a switch" and change one thing about the culture of youth sports what would it be?

Tearse: Less pressure to win and more patience on the part of parents.

MomsTEAM: Brag a little: what have you done to make sports better for kids? Please share.

Tearse: I have spent decades working on helping coaches to be better coaches. I also championed the rule in Minnesota that requires hockey coaches to wear helmets at practice, which has saved lives and prevented many serious head injuries.  Shortly after we passed the rule in Minnesota, USA Hockey passed the same rule and made it a nationwide rule.  I am now focused on player safety issues through rule changes, stricter enforcement of existing rules, and coach education on teaching the proper skills required to play well and safely. I am currently producing three videos focused on safety, first responder issues and physical literacy for coaches.

Hal Tearse is Coach in Chief and Safety Director of Minnesota Hockey, and Boys Varsity Hockey Coach at Providence Academy in Plymouth, Minnesota. With a four decade coaching career encompassing all age levels from college to the youngest players, Hal has a unique perspective to share with players and parents alike. The author of several hundred articles and fifteen skills videos for coaches, he is a frequent presenter at USA Hockey coach education clinics. Hal has two children, a son (19) who plays junior hockey, and a daugher (27) who played soccer in high school. Follow Hal @CoachTearse