Why Should Hockey Players & Coaches Fall In Love With the Process?

Matt Campbell Iowa State Head Football Coach on team above self falling in love with the process Kelvin Cech Ice Hockey Coach Tips and Drills

It always seems to be during a particularly tough time of the season that hockey coaches revert back to the process.

  • Stick to the process.
  • The process will reveal the answers.
  • Don’t worry about the results.

A multi-game losing streak will pound those questions into your head at the worst possible times, such as the middle of the night or while you’re visiting with family that lives in another province for example.

But it happens to everybody. Every coach, every parent, every player, everyone who has pressure to succeed in their line of work. In fact, while recording two episodes of the new Glass & Out Podcast last month, both guests, Fred Harbinson and Mike Johnston, talked about sticking to the process during tough stretches in their regular season.

Both the Portland Winterhawks and the Penticton Vees have since returned to the win columns, so maybe there’s credence to their comments.

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Of course the process is easier when we’re winning. You have to choose a set of habits or details and chip away at them during the good times and the bad, but no matter what, if you key in on what’s important to your group on a daily basis, then you’ll always be able to find a grip on reality.

And sanity.

Hockey players are creatures of habit. So are their coaches. We obsess over winning so much in this country that we forget winning is out of our control. The process reminds us of that which we do control:

  • Our culture
  • Our beliefs
  • The energy of our group on the ice and off

The most successful programs in North America – and truly, the world, are built on a collection of ideals and tactics that last. Sure, a lot of corrupt companies are successful too, but I choose to believe that if the arc of history bends towards justice, then so too will the arc bend toward a process that’s positive, inclusive, and extracts maximum potential from all involved.

But don’t take it from me. Here’s Iowa State’s head football coach Matt Campbell on falling in love with the process.


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TCS|Members Ice Hockey Coach Tips and Drills Todd Woodcroft

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Kelvin is the Editor in Chief of The Coaches' Site and an assistant coach with the UBC Thunderbirds Men's Varsity hockey team.