“MAKING A DIFFERENCE” By Stan Butler
INTRODUCTION • Don’t ever underestimate the influence that a coach can have on a player, whether it is on a Select 6 team, midget AAA team or Junior A tean. Players look up to coaches and value them as role models. Every time you are with your players you are “Making A Difference”. This presentation will outline some strategies to make you a better coach so you can make sure every player and parent have a positive experience with the great game of hockey.
DEVELOPING A COACHING PHILOSOPHY I think any time you coach a hockey team you must first establish a philosophy for that specific team for that specific season. Hull warm-up To do this you must take into consideration: • The age of the players and the level of competition they are playing at • Your personal values as a coach • The value system of the organization • Once you have established this philosophy, it’s important to make sure that everybody on your staff goes along with it.
Once you have developed your team’s philosophy, the next step is to develop a set of goals for your hockey team for the coming season. I always like to do this in a group setting. What age are your players? What level is your team at? How do you measure these goals? What inside and outside influences affect these goals? Review your team’s results from last year DEVELOPING GOALS FOR YOUR TEAM
At any level of hockey there are things I look for in a player: Can the player skate well? Does he have the hockey sense? Does he compete in all situations? How is their work ethic? Are they coachable? How do they act in a team situation? Do they show poor sportsmanship? Do they love to play the game? What kind of outside influences does the player have? PLAYER EVALUATION
Do it face to face Tell them what they need to work on in order to improve their chances in the future Have the parents involved in the process Have the team management sit in with you Always try to be positive towards the player in this situation PROCESS I WOULD USE IN RELEASING A PLAYER
Once you have picked the team you need to find out the following things: How much practice time do you have? How many games will you play each week? How long is the season? Once you have all this information, you and your coaching staff can sit down and plan your season. In this plan you should do an outline: What you want to do for practices How much time you want to spend on certain things When during the season do you want to implement this DEVELOPING A SEASONAL PLAN
DEALING WITH PARENTS Now that you have your team you have to create the best possible environment to give each and every player on your team a chance to be successful. My experience in dealing with parents is as follows: • Make no promises • Be straightforward • Treat all players the same • Communicate the rules clearly with the parents • Have a complaint procedure set up before the season starts • Explain to them the protocol both in and out of the arena • Deal with problems when they are small. Do not let them get bigger
PREPARING A PROPER PRACTICE • The key to a good practice is as follows: • Do not waste time • Have a practice written down • Make sure you go over the practice with your assistant coaches before you start • You might even want to go over the practice with your players if you deem them old enough to do this with • Develop discipline on the ice right from the first practice • Move quickly from drill to drill • Have good communication at all times while on the ice
KEYS TO A GOOD PRACTICE MINOR HOCKEY • Developing individual skills first (ie. skating, shooting, passing, stickhandling, bodychecking) • Keep the players moving at all times • Do your talking off the ice • Maximize your ice time • Hidden cardio component • Keep the teaching of systems to a minimum • Have variety in the drills • Develop a thinking process for the player • Develop good work habits • Make sure there is a fun component to the practice
MY CONCERNS IN MINOR HOCKEY • Development vs. Winning • Skills vs. Systems • Over coaching vs. Under coaching • Self esteem vs. Low self esteem • Cost vs. Opportunities • Hockey season vs. Extended hockey season
CONCLUSION Hopefully the information I have presented today will help you make a difference with the group of players you are coaching this year. There is no such thing as a bad volunteer, there are just some who are more prepared than others. Without volunteers like the people in this room we would not have been able to develop the great players we have in this country. The greatest satisfaction a volunteer can get is when a player they coached 10 years ago comes up to them and says “you made a difference and you have contributed to my future success.”