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.’
I’m sure you’ve got your own thoughts about the wisdom of that advice, especially for young players — I’m certainly a big believer in days off myself! — but, hey coach, maybe they’re talking to you, too?!
For coaches, summer is learning season.
If you’re a coach who really wants to become a better coach, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of incredible resources such as Roger Neilson’s Coaching Clinic, the TeamSnap Coaches Site Hockey Coaches Conference, and the Hockey ThinkTank Hockey Development Conference, to name but a few.
No matter what age or skill level players you’re working with, spending a couple of hours listening to people like Bruce Boudreau, Shannon Miller, Dave Starman, Rikard Grönborg, Peter deBoer, Gardiner MacDougall, or Jamie Kompon is never a bad idea. In my experience, they exemplify the coaching community’s willingness to share insights, experiences, techniques, and technologies in order to improve the game for everyone involved, and as an added bonus, some of them could have alternate careers as stand-up comedians.
A word of caution, though.
With topics ranging from zone entries and forechecking to age-appropriate practices and player communication, attending one of these events is like drinking from a coaching knowledge firehose. Of course there’s typically food and beer and coffee and donuts so they’re not exactly ‘embrace the grind’ level events, but you might just head home with so much good hockey stuff in your brain that you’ll need a week or two at the beach just to let it all sink in!
So if you’re serious about coaching, by all means spend as much of the summer as you can enjoying the sun and sand — hopefully you’ll see a ton of players doing the same thing — but consider spending a day or two getting coached. You’ll love it. And your future players and their parents will love you for it.
PS If you’re looking to attend the TeamSnap Coaches Site Hockey Coaches Conference in Toronto and haven’t snagged your pass yet, you can save 15% by using the code POWER when you register. You’re welcome!
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