As the Head Coach of one the most successful university hockey programs in Canada, Gardiner McDougall knows a thing or two about the importance of grit and how it translates to greatness. University hockey players in Canada face a unique set of challenges – going to class, going to the rink, going to the library – it’s not easy.
But for Gardiner McDougall and the University of New Brunswick’s Varsity Reds, it’s precisely that challenge that makes the journey worth the effort.
“Wouldn’t you like to be known as a coach as a guy who just finds a way to get it done?”
That was Coach MacDougall at the TeamSnap Hockey Coaches Conference in Vancouver in 2016. UNB’s dressing room is renowned for its acronyms. Every corner you turn in the room is filled with acronyms for BEST, GRIT, and so on. For Coach MacDougall, it’s important to ingrain excellence into every inch of his program. Excellence in the pursuit of greatness is what makes success possible, and it’s a big reason why UNB is so successful at the national level year after year.
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