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Teach Responsibility with Hockey Challenges


Developing responsibility isn’t easy though, and as any parent can attest, it certainly doesn’t happen overnight.

Ever wish you could get your child to pick up their toys or throw their garbage away or do the dishes without having to tell them?

Little tasks around the house that kids leave undone can drive parents crazy at times. Yet, how often do you pick up those toys or the garbage yourself because you’re in a hurry or are tired of looking at them, instead of requiring your child to do so?

While these are seemingly insignificant examples, situations similar to this occur every day and are key opportunities to teach kids responsibility.

As Karen Ruskin, Psy.D., told, "kids who do not have responsibilities feel entitled and think the world will always do it for them."

Developing responsibility isn’t easy though, and as any parent can attest, it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. However, there are few more important lessons we can teach than ensuring kids know how to take care of themselves, their belongings and eventually, to help serve others.

The good news is hockey provides an environment where kids are often more motivated, and at times, even excited, to take on responsibility. Here are a few challenges for kids at each age level to help them become responsible players and people.


  • Carry your own hockey stick

  • Assist mom or dad in putting on equipment

  • Take off your own equipment (Mom or Dad can help untie skates)

  • Fill up own water bottle at home or at the rink

  • Start learning how to find the correct locker room at the rink

  • Thank the coaches after practice


  • Carry your own hockey stick and bag

  • Put on your own equipment (Mom or Dad can help tie skates)

  • Take off all equipment independently

  • Unpack/pack hockey bag to dry out equipment between practices

  • Pick up in locker room after each practice or game

  • Fill up team water bottles

  • Find locker room on own at the rink


  • Get dressed independently

  • Tape your own stick

  • Open and hold door for others while entering or leaving the rink

  • Complete homework before practice

  • Complete a chore (list) before game day or skating outside

  • Know basic hockey rules such as offsides, icing and common penalties

  • Write thank you note to coach at end of the season


  • Pack pre-game or pre-practice snacks

  • Let Mom/Dad know when skates need to be sharpened

  • Cut own stick to proper height (with help from parents)

  • Pick out a thank you gift for coach(es)

  • Wash hockey equipment periodically

  • Know all types of penalties and their signals

  • Take charge of your sleep habits and plan for getting the right amount of rest


  • Plan and make a pre-game meal

  • Plan a post-game meal or snack to replenish energy

  • Carry a water bottle regularly to ensure proper hydration

  • Keep a calendar organized with school deadlines, family events and your hockey schedule

  • Select own off-season training program

  • Secure a part time job and pay for percentage of all hockey equipment. Or provide the player an annual budget for hockey gear and have them manage it.

  • Become a student coach and mentor a younger player

Sports in this article

Ice Hockey

Tags in this article

Mental Health Parent Minnesota Hockey