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01-05-2011, 06:12 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Orillia, Ontario
Country: Canada
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Originally Posted by TravisUlrich View Post
If so, where, at what level, and how many years have you been coaching? And maybe share some of your wisdom.

I coach Midget A (15-17 y/o) in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This is my 2nd year coaching.
I'm currently coaching a Peewee A team in London. I've been coaching since 1999 - all AAA with the exception from this year, and everything from Major Atom to Minor Bantam.

Here are the most important things that I have learned over the past dozen years:
1. Demand hard work, unselfishness, and discipline. There are only two things that all the players can control all the time; they effort level and their attitude. Everything else is out of their control, so you better control the things you can.

2. Share your coaching philosophies and season plan with all the players and parents. It's always better when communiction is open. At worst, the parents won't be able to complain later, since you laid it all out up front. At best, they can even help their kids understand some things they are struggling with.

3. Find a role for every single player - even if it's not an important role, try to make is sound like it is. Every team has top and bottom players. I've always tried to make sure the weak players feel just as important as the strong ones. Getting the puck out of our end, fore-checking, back-checking, winning battles, etc are all things that can be used as roles for lesser players.

4. Don't be affraid to try new things - if it doesn't work, you can always try something else. Just about every year, I move players from forward to defense and vica versa. A while back, I had a team with 4 really strong forwards and no real strong defensemen. I decided that I would try rotating each of the 4 forwards back to defense and see who is the best. I moved one back, and he was so good that I didn't even try anybody else. He ended up leading the league in scoring as a defenseman, and was the main reason we won the Provincial Championships.

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