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The Pittsburgh Perspective: Disciplinary Coaching

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Old
05-03-2014, 01:48 PM
  #1
ColePens
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The Pittsburgh Perspective: Disciplinary Coaching

I'm extremely interested to see the reaction of Pens fans to this topic. I'll keep it short and sweet - Disciplinary coaching, Bowman/Keenan/Therrien/Torts, was basically eliminated from the NHL with how contracts and the culture of professional athletes are nowadays. Now we see it on a mini rise with the success in the KHL and then seeing it with MT once again in Montreal. At the same time - we watched Torts get thrown out of a coaching contract after year 1.

So what do you think? Is it making a comeback? Is it something we just won't see last long due to the culture of professional sports? I am really interested to see your perspective since we are seeing a mini surge in success of this style of coaching.

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05-03-2014, 02:39 PM
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sf expat71
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I think Boucher was canned for being this way as well. Ultimately, if you win, you can be as big an ******* as you want, Torts system was such a bad fit for the 'nucks personnel is why that didn't work out. Short of a team with someone like an Ovi, I think if the coach wins, how he does it is rarely an issue, except with our team and Bowman I guess...

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05-03-2014, 03:06 PM
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You bring up MT but he's admitted that after getting fired by the Pen's he tweaked his style of coaching to be less authoritative.

What a coach needs more than anything is the respect of his players. If he's their best friend he becomes a door mat, Bylsma, and if he's a tyrant they hate him, Torts. Leading isn't easy or everyone would be able to do it.

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05-03-2014, 03:08 PM
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You can be a disciplinarian without being a jackass. I think that's what Therrien is accomplishing with the Habs, along with the majority of coaches today. Hold players accountable with controlling their roles and ice time without berating and demeaning them. There will always be a place for disciplinarians in pro sports. You can't be successful without it.

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05-03-2014, 03:37 PM
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First off Ownership has to set the tone. The Pens are simply player friendly and no coach can be tough enough without Owners being on the same page. So as long as the Pens have Mario, they will reflect his view that players come first. In general Babcock had the GM in support of his coaching and still does. And the players trust Babcock. Keenan was a jackoff and wore out this welcome in half the league. Pens had bad luck with injuries but even if healthy not sure they win another cup with Bylsma. Shero is not smart enough to outflank the top GMs. Both Bylsma and Shero are just not good enough to maintain a real cup contender past being paper champions. So a coach who is tough can lose a team faster than a players type coach. See Carlyle for example.

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05-03-2014, 04:09 PM
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Pens won't have a hard coach while Lemieux is owner. He ran Scotty Bowman out if town. I feel ownership is as much to blame for our playoff play as much as the coaches.

Ownership won't bring in the type of coach needed to right the ship.

Mario didn't like it as a player, he doesn't like it as an owner.

I think he gets too much of a pass from fans and local media.

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05-03-2014, 04:15 PM
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I doubt Mario cares who the coach is. He doesn't have to deal with coaches anymore now that he's an owner. The coaching situation is on Shero. Bylsma is the first hand picked coach by Ray Shero. He won't part with him easily for better or worse.

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05-03-2014, 04:23 PM
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YeAh I think the MT example is most interesting......he got tossed from PGH ( admittedly from a team with a history of eating coaches no matter how good they were, see Bowman, Scotty)....

But he has had success at MTL, whilst admitting to softening his style a bit.

Is this "soft edged" authoritarian style the way things can go now, with millionaire players who can't always be expected to just toe the line?

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05-03-2014, 04:44 PM
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You have to lead by example.

If a coach is unable to set the proper work ethic example among his players, (and outwork them), why would the players follow him? The people underneath will only work as hard as the leader is. If the the leaders don't care, and don't work, the "soldiers" don't care.

This is why cancelling practice for the last 3 months has caught up with the Pens. Coaches are too lazy, too cocky, (or stupid) to structure practice "to get better" and fix the problems with the team. This sends a message that "we are good enough" to the players and this develops a sense of cockiness (false confidence) in the players too. Is there anything more dangerous than thinking you are safe, when in fact you are the cute little bunny hopping right below a hawk?

The goal has been shifted from "winning the cup" to being a profitable organisation. They aren't exactly the same goal.

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05-03-2014, 05:10 PM
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You lost me

Quote:
Originally Posted by wgknestrick View Post
You have to lead by example.

If a coach is unable to set the proper work ethic example among his players, (and outwork them), why would the players follow him? The people underneath will only work as hard as the leader is. If the the leaders don't care, and don't work, the "soldiers" don't care.

This is why cancelling practice for the last 3 months has caught up with the Pens. Coaches are too lazy, too cocky, (or stupid) to structure practice "to get better" and fix the problems with the team. This sends a message that "we are good enough" to the players and this develops a sense of cockiness (false confidence) in the players too. Is there anything more dangerous than thinking you are safe, when in fact you are the cute little bunny hopping right below a hawk?

The goal has been shifted from "winning the cup" to being a profitable organisation. They aren't exactly the same goal.
You lost me.
How is the coach supposed to set an example by outworking his players ?

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05-03-2014, 05:11 PM
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I think a disciplinarian could work here. Sid and Geno aren't kids anymore. And I'd imagine they've grown tired of being bounced early in the playoffs year after year. This team needs structure and discipline more than ever. As long as you give Sid and Geno the proper talent, I'd trust them to get the results the coach needs to stick around and keep the message fresh.

It doesn't matter what coach we have until Shero fixes our forward situation. The results won't be there.

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05-03-2014, 05:20 PM
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I think a disciplinarian will always work in this league. Look at a guy like Mike Babcock. He's not a softy, he'll put his players in their place if need be. But he's not a loudmouth like Torts who will quickly wear out his welcome.

Actually, if you look at a lot of the better coaches, whether that be Babcock, Julien, Quenneville, etc., they're all "tough" coaches in their own way. They're just not over the top like Torts or Keenan.

In terms of the Pens, I think they could do well with a coach that's a disciplinarian, so long as he's not a guy like Torts who will yell and scream at them for something as simple as an offside.

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05-03-2014, 05:44 PM
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There are a lot of coaches in the league that I can't get a read on if they're disciplinary or not. Namely Quenneville. He seems like a ball buster in interviews and clips but he's had surprising longevity.

I'd prefer a coach that communicates coherently over lashing out or dragging players through the mud in the media. Something more cerebral. There should be no better motivator than the risk of taking away ice time.

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05-03-2014, 07:19 PM
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wgknestrick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joejosh999 View Post
You lost me.
How is the coach supposed to set an example by outworking his players ?
Have you ever seen the behind the scenes documentaries of NFL coaches? They work 18hr days (6 days/week) and I am sure this "work day" is not isolated to the NFL, but is shared by most pro level coaching. Do you think these coaches don't have to work for these huge salaries they get?

If you want "respect", a coach has to put his time in watching tape, developing strategies, identifying tendencies, etc.....ie put in more hours and work "harder" than his troops. Does anyone think Bylsma "spends his time" at these things "anymore" with his wiffle ball practices....or just HAVING practice? Players are busting their ***** for most of the day with weight training, nutrition, practice, more weight training, etc....they expect the coaches to be doing the coaching equivalent. If the players suspect they aren't, their work ethic starts to slide. I am very suspicious that this has become the case here.

A disciplinarian can only function if they are out working the guys underneath. You don't have to be a hard ass to be a disciplinarian. You just have to be willing to correct every little thing they do wrong. You also have to be informed enough to even know what your players are doing that can be improved.


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05-03-2014, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wgknestrick View Post
Have you ever seen the behind the scenes documentaries of NFL coaches? They work 18hr days (6 days/week) and I am sure this "work day" is not isolated to the NFL, but is shared by most pro level coaching. Do you think these coaches don't have to work for these huge salaries they get?

If you want "respect", a coach has to put his time in watching tape, developing strategies, identifying tendencies, etc.....ie put in more hours and work "harder" than his troops. Does anyone think Bylsma "spends his time" at these things "anymore" with his wiffle ball practices....or just HAVING practice? Players are busting their ***** for most of the day with weight training, nutrition, practice, more weight training, etc....they expect the coaches to be doing the coaching equivalent. If the players suspect they aren't, their work ethic starts to slide. I am very suspicious that this has become the case here.
Players both with the Pens and Team USA have done nothing but praise the level of detail and preparedness Bylsma brings.

You can question his decision-making or his stubbornness, but never his work ethic. I have no idea what would even lead somebody to that conclusion.

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05-03-2014, 07:25 PM
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Players both with the Pens and Team USA have done nothing but praise the level of detail and preparedness Bylsma brings.

You can question his decision-making or his stubbornness, but never his work ethic. I have no idea what would even lead somebody to that conclusion.
5 years of results would contradict that statement......also wiffle ball......Tanner Glass........MAF. Are these things that a "well prepared" coach does?

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05-03-2014, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wgknestrick View Post
5 years of results would contradict that statement.
No, they wouldn't.

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05-03-2014, 07:32 PM
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also wiffle ball......Tanner Glass........MAF. Are these things that a "well prepared" coach does?
Reaching dubious conclusions doesn't mean there was a lack of effort. Like I said, DB's decision-making and stubbornness can be called into question.

Talking about a lack of work ethic from the coaches when there's been nothing but first-hand testimony suggesting the exact opposite is just throwing **** at a wall. They put in the time, they just have some goofy ideas and are overly loyal to certain horses fit for the glue factory.

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05-03-2014, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by eXile59 View Post
You bring up MT but he's admitted that after getting fired by the Pen's he tweaked his style of coaching to be less authoritative.

What a coach needs more than anything is the respect of his players. If he's their best friend he becomes a door mat, Bylsma, and if he's a tyrant they hate him, Torts. Leading isn't easy or everyone would be able to do it.
This is exceptionally well said and I wish more people understood the bolded point. Every employee of every business in the world thinks they could run the company better than the CEO, and they are wrong.

I'm not going to defend Bylsma because I am quickly moving into the camp that thinks it's time to move on from him. His style just doesn't fit here and it shows. Perhaps he would have success somewhere else, but it's not working here so he may need replaced. I just think most people don't know how hard it is to be responsible for the actions of others.

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05-03-2014, 10:52 PM
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I think saying the pens need an authoritative coach is like saying you have to be an ******* to get girls.

They need a confident coach that commands respect. Not an ******* disciplinarian.

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05-03-2014, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
I'm extremely interested to see the reaction of Pens fans to this topic. I'll keep it short and sweet - Disciplinary coaching, Bowman/Keenan/Therrien/Torts, was basically eliminated from the NHL with how contracts and the culture of professional athletes are nowadays. Now we see it on a mini rise with the success in the KHL and then seeing it with MT once again in Montreal. At the same time - we watched Torts get thrown out of a coaching contract after year 1.

So what do you think? Is it making a comeback? Is it something we just won't see last long due to the culture of professional sports? I am really interested to see your perspective since we are seeing a mini surge in success of this style of coaching.
Coaches are hired to be fired.

Some are too much the disciplinarian. Some too little.

At times, a team will need discipline. Then it will need the reins loosened.

I think a GM will look at his team and see what its particular need is at the moment.

So, it's cyclical. Freeze on things at any particular moment, and sometimes you'll see a number of disciplinarians and sometimes more player coaches.

I suppose that the culture of sports is such that disciplinarians may on balance have a shorter shelf life or some organizations may be loathe to move away from a comfort zone with a coach (be it a player friendly coach or a coach who's been around forever and isn't seen as too much of a disciplinarian).

So, the mini rise you see . . . I see it as the cycle playing out and you just freezing the camera at a particular moment that more teams than on average are at a 'need a disciplinarian' phase.

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05-03-2014, 11:44 PM
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People are making this too much about the Pens. I just meant in general - because we have the background of both DB and MT - do you think they are making a comeback?

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05-04-2014, 12:50 AM
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People are making this too much about the Pens. I just meant in general - because we have the background of both DB and MT - do you think they are making a comeback?
I don't think there's any kind of surge on that front, to be honest.

MT might be the only NHL coach who fits that mold, and he's admittedly changed his approach. Keenan winning over in Russia isn't relevant to prevailing coaching trends, IMO. He's a well-known name who had a lot of free time on his hands.

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05-04-2014, 01:28 AM
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Coach needs to crack the whip to some degree. Fear is a motivating factor. Discomfort is a motivating factor. Challenge is a motivating factor.

That said, a Keenan, Tortorella or Bill Laforge probably take it too far. There's a point in which confrontation becomes babble. Or breaks their own guys wills, which these types of guys always do to somebody.

Incidentally, Berube will hit his sell-by date quickly, if he's telling Wayne Simmonds he's a ballerina in a game he's got two goals, which he did the other day, according to Pierre.

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05-04-2014, 01:54 AM
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A balance is required, a coach can't go around being a raging ******* but they need to bring discipline to the table. Teams can burn through coaches as long as an incompetent fool isn't sticking around forever, players are allowed to grow to resent a hard ass. Some coaches will inevitably take it too far and above all else won't have the results to justify their behaviour. I think Therrien has learned to be better about handling the players which I think was a necessity.

Bylsma aside from never bringing discipline suddenly decided to try it in the playoffs, shockingly it didn't make the switch flip. All the Bylsma era has taught me is that I'd happily have them turn on a Therrien type again rather than having this unending mess.

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