COVID Affordance: Playing Defense with a Great Stick

I want to play games. But, within the constraints of COVID protocols, there is an exciting opportunity in front of hockey coaches and players everywhere. We get to invest time in individual player development. In college sports, we are typically constrained with time, giving us just a few weeks to prepare for early season gamesContinue reading “COVID Affordance: Playing Defense with a Great Stick”

Coming Up Big Under Pressure

Everyone wants to be at their best when it matters the most. Iconic performances are re-lived for decades and in some cases, generations. In Canada, we have Paul Henderson in the Summit Series and in the United States we have Mike Eruzione in the Miracle on Ice. These moments capture the imagination, emotion, and prideContinue reading “Coming Up Big Under Pressure”

Why is Play a Motivator?

When you reflect on the root of your love for hockey or any sport it will bring you down a magical road. For me, it’s playing in the living room with my grandmother chanting “Go Leafs Go”, mini-sticks in hotel hallways, and playing outdoors under the night sky and lights in outdoor rinks in Etobicoke,Continue reading “Why is Play a Motivator?”

Data Driven Player Development – Part 2: Goaltending

Player development should always be at the forefront of coaching priorities. In many cases, it is helpful to use data to drive the process and shape the environment for your athletes. In Part 1: shooting, I showed an example of a practice from the 2019/20 Curry College hockey season. We created a station-based practice with the intentionContinue reading “Data Driven Player Development – Part 2: Goaltending”

Data Driven Player Development – Part 1: Shooting

Player development should always be at the forefront of coaching priorities. In many cases, it is helpful to use data to drive the process and shape the environment for your athletes. In the 2019/20 Curry College hockey season, we created a station-based practice with the intention to practice “game-like” shooting. The results were surprising andContinue reading “Data Driven Player Development – Part 1: Shooting”

Hockey Character

In my last blog post, I wrote about evaluating and recruiting character. I suggest that it’s critical to be clear about the specific character skills that are important to your organization. By doing so, you can create a system for evaluating prospects for behavioral and cultural fit. To determine the intangibles that contribute to winsContinue reading “Hockey Character”

Evaluating and Recruiting Character

How many bad people do you know? I struggle to come up with anyone in my life who I would describe as a bad person. I believe people are basically good. I feel the same is true in recruiting, although players are often described as having bad character. Why are they bad? Did they makeContinue reading “Evaluating and Recruiting Character”

3 Steps to Support Mental Health for Coaches and Athletes

The health of an athlete comes before any performance consideration. In fact, the health of the athlete is the number 1 performance consideration.  In order to create the conditions for a person to improve athletically, they must be in mindset that is conducive to that endeavor. Without positive mental health, it is impossible to focusContinue reading “3 Steps to Support Mental Health for Coaches and Athletes”

Best Coach They Ever Had

I recently had the opportunity to listen to a webinar by Dr. Wally Bzdell, a prominent sport psychologist who works with college teams across various sports. The presentation was about facilitating high performance through relationship-based coaching. Dr. Bzdell introduced the “Challenge-Support Continuum” model which measures the level of challenge and support in your environment. TheContinue reading “Best Coach They Ever Had”