What a long, strange lockdown it’s been.
The past sixteen months have been challenging, to say the least. The sheer volume of suffering, pain, anguish, and hardship brought on by the Covid 19 pandemic are hard to fathom, and for those who lost loved ones, it’s unimaginable. It’s a tribute to medical and healthcare workers worldwide that things seem to be returning to some semblance of normalcy.
But what will our next normal look like?
History shows that massively disruptive events like the one from which we are slowly emerging typically result in a reset. It seems that people who’ve been forced to reflect on what really matters in life tend to want to focus on and improve those things moving forward—they want to live life a little differently than before. World War One and the global flu pandemic of 1918 kicked off the Roaring Twenties. World War Two brought about the baby boom and the massive economic uplift of the next thirty years. So clearly the old normal isn’t necessarily the way forward.
Our work focuses primarily on youth sports. Some argue they’re a luxury, others argue they’re essential. Whatever your view, kids and parents all over the world have had to adjust to the tough realities of Covid 19. One thing is for sure: from school to softball to social gatherings, pandemic-related disruptions and challenges reinforced the potential in digital connection solutions like Zoom and Google sheets and Slack, and although we may think we’re returning to a pre-Covid way of going about our lives, it’s widely expected that the future will continue to include many of the ways of doing things that have become part of our lives during the lockdown.
For us, the lockdown was like spending a year and a half in the penalty box. Needless to say, we were not happy with the call, but hey, that’s the game!
On the positive side, we were extremely fortunate to have customers who continued to use PowerPlayer as a way to stay connected with, and to motivate and encourage, the athletes they worked with at a distance—a perfect solution given the constraints of the pandemic. And we elected to spend our lockdown time working with our customers and advisors to make improvements and additions to our product, resulting in simplified roster/player onboarding, ongoing refinements to our rating and metrics mechanisms, and the addition of several new sports (including field hockey, and soon, softball, lacrosse, and soccer) to our platform.
Honor what was. Improve what’s next.
Everyone we know is looking forward to safely resuming all of the activities they love. We sure as heck are! And we’re optimistic about the ‘new normal’.
We’re optimistic that the absence of some of the things we all love will have resulted in a greater sense of perspective about their value in our lives. We’re optimistic that we’ll all take a little of what we learned about ourselves and each other—our resilience in the face of huge challenges, the importance of community, the collective strength that comes from caring, and a renewed sense of joy in simple things like youth sports—forward into a better future.
And we’re optimistic that by combining the best of what was with the things we’ve learned over the past year, we can all help make normal better than it used to be.
Want to get a jump on creating a better normal with the athletes you coach? Give us a buzz.
I want my players to know they’ve been seen and that they’re valued. That really matters—to me and to my players.Read Post
“For me, a coach’s job—a parent or teacher’s job—comes down to just two words: transmit belief. You’ve got to transmit belief, because if someone in your care believes they can succeed, well, they’ve got a much better chance of succeeding.”Read Post
Saana Koljonen knows that success in sport begins and ends inside an athlete’s head.Read Post
Feedback: Jacob Thayer / Juneau, AlaskaRead Post
The reaction from parents is most rewarding. They’re wide-eyed in amazement that we pay such close attention to their children.Read Post
“Anyone who wants to be good at something wants and needs feedback.”Read Post
Everyone involved was already following Bruce Boudreau’s advice for anyone who wants to succeed in the game of hockey — or the game of life: “If you don’t change, you don’t last.”Read Post
Brian Walsh and the Western Jr. Colonials are changing the coach-player-parent conversation for the better.Read Post
Looking for a fun new way to challenge your players, create team unity, and raise a few bucks? Look here.Read Post
The Covid 19 lockdown has been a challenge in many ways, but it’s also given us something that hockey people clearly value: time and space.Read Post
Small areas games just got huge.Read Post
Right now, we’re not Sabres or Jets or Blackhawks or Kings, we’re human beings. And we’re all on the same team.Read Post
Why not give kids and parents the same level of insight into the sport process that they get into the academic process?Read Post
Every player has personal strengths and positives that can be identified and encouraged and every player can improve somewhere if they’re given the knowledge and support they need.Read Post
If I coach the way I was coached, and my coaches were coached the way they were coached, and so on, then I’m coaching like someone from the 1800s.Read Post
There’s no question that baseball is a numbers game. So when we hear coaches and managers get excited about bringing PowerPlayer Baseball to their athletes, we know we’re onto something.Read Post
For the last 19 years, I was a competitive hockey player, so I haven’t really looked at the sport through a purely coaching lens too often. But I’ve seen a lot of coaches.Read Post
“We thought we couldn’t ask for anything more, but then the club really out-did themselves by adding PowerPlayer. We’re extremely excited that Pineville Ice House is implementing this. To me it really proves that they have the players’ best interests at heart.”Read Post
It was 92 degrees F / 33 degrees C in Toronto last weekend, so naturally hundreds of hockey coaches converged on Ryerson University to immerse themselves in three days of knowledge, insight, innovation, and storytelling at the 2019 TeamSnap Coaches Site Hockey Coaches Conference.Read Post
It must be that time of year. Hockey-centric social media is jammed with posts exhorting people to ‘do the work,’ ‘embrace the grind,’ and to be sure to take ‘no days off.’Read Post
Kids do best when they instinctively know that the adults they rely on to guide them through life are in alignment. A coach who is backed up by a parent is a more effective coach, and frequent communication goes a long way toward making that possible.Read Post
Video + PowerPlayer data and comments = power tools for coaching.Read Post
First, if you want to make your life better as a coach, focus on becoming a better communicator. PowerPlayer definitely helps with that. And second, PowerPlayer ignites kids. It just fires them up.Read Post
In case you haven’t noticed, we love feedback. So we asked a whole bunch of hockey parents — our users (parents of hockey players whose coaches use PowerPlayer) and non-users (hockey parents in general) — for their thoughts about feedback, as it pertains to them and their young athletes.Read Post
I recently posted an article to a Facebook group in which the author explores the highly divisive topic of ice time, arguing both for and against the idea that ‘shortening the bench’ is a net positive for young hockey players. As you might have guessed, the post generated a lot of comments.Read Post
In youth hockey, where development is (or should be) the focus, wins and losses only tell part of the story.Read Post
We’re excited about our numbers to date, because we know we can build on them. After all, that’s what long-term development is all about.Read Post
I want to do everything I can to get the kids I work with to the next level — whatever that means to them individually — and to give them every advantage possible.Read Post
If you’re coaching youth team sports, you’re coaching other people’s kids — which means you’re coaching parents too. In any successful relationship, communication is essential. The challenge in coaching, of course, is time.Read Post
As a player, I would have loved to get this kind of feedback. I always wanted to be first, to be the best. But how could I know what my coach was thinking about me? Not every player is ready to ask their coach questions — some people are just shy — and I’m talking about players from minor hockey all the way to pro.Read Post
I flipped on the NHL Network the other day. While I usually don’t pay too much attention to the panel discussion stuff they broadcast ahead of games, this time something got my attention.
Apparently Jamie Benn was in a bit of a slump.Read Post
I love the drills and metrics for sure, and so do the kids, but seriously, the most useful thing for me personally is the ability to coach from home.Read Post
Ever notice how people just seem to operate at higher levels when they perceive the thing they’re doing to be ‘fun’? That applies to sports, study, and whatever it is most of us do at our day jobs.Read Post
Kids who are positively reinforced by the people who surround them tend to be more confident, happy, and energetic, and are much more likely to succeed than those who may have similar skill sets, but who are less emotionally secure.Read Post
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“You can’t do player development without coach development. And that’s why it’s so important that you’re all here.” Dave Starman / NCAA Scout, Montreal Canadiens.Read Post
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Strong personal intangibles and team chemistry have a multiplier effect on talent. Poor personal intangibles and team chemistry have a diminishing effect.Read Post
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When we share feedback through PowerPlayer we know we’re sharing the beginning of a conversation that might never take place otherwise. How cool is that?Read Post
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For millions of kids, parents and coaches, the season is winding down. And all over the hockey world, the thought of a standard one-on-one, end of season coach/player/parent meeting is a stress-inducing prospect for many on both sides of the table.Read Post
I think we need parents to be part of the teams we’re coaching. If parents understand what I’m seeing in their child and can help me motivate them or address something that needs to be addressed, that’s hugely beneficial to their child, to me, and to the team.Read Post
Consisting of three parts, the formula involves providing feedback to young athletes at every stage of the development process as a way to help build their confidence.Read Post
“When you throw the ball, three things can happen and two of them are bad. But you’ve still got to throw the ball.”Read Post
“We’re seeing huge improvements in our kids now and we’re excited to roll PowerPlayer out to more and more of our players in a big way in 2018.”Read Post
“PowerPlayer really helps bring clarity to coaching, and I’m a big believer in communicating with players.”Read Post
“We wouldn’t accept a teacher telling us that our child had failed a grade at the end of the year without any warning or aid in helping them succeed, so why would we allow our players to go through a season without continuous feedback?”Read Post
We’ve shared PowerPlayer with countless coaches, hockey directors, and parents, and we’re working with organizations from Anchorage to Philadelphia, from Syracuse to Sweden. No one has told us they think providing meaningful feedback to kids and their parents is a bad idea.Read Post
“The coach-player-parent dynamic is critical. Always tell players what you see and what to work on, because feedback is critical.” Ray Ferraro / Coaches Site Conference 2017Read Post
Team success largely depends on mutual respect, common purpose and uncommon selflessness. In other words, team success depends on intangibles.Read Post
Before your accountant became a professional accountant, before your dentist became a professional dentist, and before the leading scorer in the NHL became a professional hockey player, they were kids.Read Post
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For many hockey players, a tryout or showcase camp is essentially a snapshot taken from a long, long movie. It can’t tell enough of the story to be meaningful.Read Post
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Even though I grew up in Buffalo, where winter totally rules, my sport growing up was baseball. Sure I watched the Sabres as a casual fan, but my knowledge of hockey was limited to hating Brett Hull. Google it!Read Post
If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, or maybe even if you haven’t, you might be familiar with the 10,000 hour concept, which postulates that it takes that minimum number of hours of ‘deliberate practice’ to become ‘expert’ at something. Like chess, piano, ballet. Or hockey.Read Post
Growing up with a father who’s been a highly respected member of the Rochester NY-area hockey community for more than 40 years, Chris Collins has led a hockey life.Read Post
A while back, I connected with a friend who’d spent part of his summer sitting in a hockey rink watching his 10 year-old run through some drills. And he was frustrated. Not because of what was happening on the ice during the camp, but because of what wasn’t happening.Read Post
For millions of kids (and their parents), September means two things: back to school and back to the rink.Read Post
We sat down with coach and skating / skills instructor Stan Kondrotas to get his impressions of PowerPlayer following his first season as a ‘power user.’Read Post
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In 2015, a nine-year-old BC kid quit his team with two games left in the season. Seems he’d had enough of sitting on the bench game after game, crying while he watched his teammates play. Why was he denied the opportunity to play?Read Post
Essentially, our current youth hockey measurement system prioritizes games, where effort can produce wins, and virtually ignores practices, where effort can produce winners.Read Post
I grew up with sports. And, oh yeah, of course… school! One of those things was arguably more fun than the other, and the rewards they offered differed, but for any real chance of success, both required not just attention but commitment.Read Post