Coach’s Culture + Player’s Growth = Great Play

The following line was included in a note to me from the parent of a young hockey player that is already on the radar of Hockey East schools:

He is playing very well… He is figuring out that the coach rewards hard work over skill and talent. So, he’s working harder at the less glamorous aspects of the game and getting more ice-time.

Adolescent successes made this player realize that he was “talented”… an unfortunate curse for player development if one is not surrounded by the right support systems or athletic culture. Talented or not – each new level provides new opportunities and challenges, and requires athletes to grow and learn. Fortunately in this instance both player and coach played their role. Through the struggles, stresses, and confusion that accompany transition the player maintained a willingness to learn. Though “talent” did not initially show itself, the coach trusted his philosophy and remained committed to developing players not just w’s and l’s.

Players can you keep an open mind… be willing to struggle… be patient… when striving to find your next level of play?

Coaches have you examined your philosophy so deeply that it can create a culture of excellence that sustains on both days when talent shows up and those days when it seems lack?

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