Understanding Dopamine & How it Effects Your Coaching

In Coaching Hockey, Leadership by Kelvin Cech

The brain includes several distinct dopamine pathways, one of which plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behaviour.

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This is an article I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. It’s about coaches, how we operate, and how our methods effect young hockey players on a cellular level. Now, I’m not a scientist – maybe a psychologist from time to time, especially during midterms – but every coach understands the power of reward-motivated behaviour. Dopamine is a neural transmitter in the brain that regulates how we perceive reward, or how we accept pleasure. That feeling you get when you crush a brownie straight out of the oven? That’s dopamine telling you to repeat that process over and over again.

It’s the same feeling hockey players get when they score a goal, make a save, or make a play that the coach asked them to make. Extreme sports such as bungee jumping or sky-diving or rugby release dopamine in the brain like its going out of style.

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About the Author
Kelvin Cech

Kelvin Cech

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Former editor in chief of The Coaches Site, current head coach of the Winkler Flyers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. See All Posts By Kelvin

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