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.


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


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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