In the last months 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.
In fact, virtually everyone with whom we share the system immediately recognizes the obvious advantages to be gained from a more continuous flow of communication between people in the youth hockey ecosystem. And they quickly understand that while PowerPlayer does enable the collection and distribution of metrics, its primary purpose isn’t to serve as an analytics system. Its primary purpose is to enable coaches to connect with players (and their parents) individually at any time, something that’s virtually impossible without the power of technology.
For example, instead of simply telling a player “nice job” or “good game” as they leave the rink after a game, in just a few minutes a coach can use PowerPlayer to provide that same player with a meaningful, trackable assessment of their game play, and maybe add a comment or two that tell the player exactly what they saw and why it matters. That’s the difference between writing ‘nice work’ on a kid’s report card versus providing them with detailed breakdowns of their individual subject strengths and challenges, and some ideas on how to improve.
The reaction to PowerPlayer feedback from both players and parents has been powerful.
More than one coach has told us that after they’ve provided a few comments to their young players, the change in their demeanor, energy level and enthusiasm is noticeable. One comment—which a coach shared with us from one of his young players’ post-tryout, pre-season intangibles assessments—was so positive and empowering that my wife actually teared up when I read it to her. Her comment: “I can’t imagine what that message has done for that kid and his parents, or what something like that might have done for our kids when they were that age.”
PowerPlayer is designed to empower players by allowing coaches to do what they do best: to find and acknowledge the best in their players while helping them to identify and teach to the things that need specific focus. We’re energized by the enthusiasm we sense in the coaches and hockey directors we’re working with, and excited to help them make a positive difference in the lives of young people who love this game.
What’s the message in all of this? That coaches and parents know that a few encouraging words now and then can change any kid’s life for the better.
We hear that, loud and clear.
“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
“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
Anyone who’s ever been part of a team—either as a player or as a coach—where things have just clicked, or conversely, have never clicked at all no matter what you did, has been subject to the power of group dynamics.Read Post
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
For coaches, a big part of the challenge is communicating in a meaningful way with kids and parents on a regular basis. We’ve adopted PowerPlayer as an organization because it provides opportunities for coaches to share comments, thoughts, video clips, ratings and real metrics with the players and their parents more frequently.Read Post
I’m really looking at PowerPlayer for communication—to get information out there to the people who need to see it. I love analytics, and I want the players and parents to know what I’m looking at, and to understand what I’m seeing.Read Post
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
We just spent a couple of weekends at The Coaches Site / TeamSnap 2016 Hockey Coaches Conferences. As sponsors, we were there to introduce PowerPlayer to the coaches in attendance, but we also learned a thing or two about the state of hockey.Read Post
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