A Recap of TCS Live 2023: Day 3

TCS Live on ice
The final day of TCS Live presentations treated attendees to some very unique teachings, including a live hand-ball game between coaches.

Joe Birch kicked off the final day of presentations at TCS Live Saturday morning inside the Power Center.

Joe Birch: Start with Investing in your Players and People

TCS Live Joe Birch

As the Chief Operating Officer of the Kitchener Rangers, one of the only publicly owned franchises in the CHL, Birch has a unique mission that is focused on making a positive impact in the community. Responsible for leading over 40 individuals composed of players, staff, volunteers, and interns, Birch has dedicated himself to serving his employees and doing whatever he can to help them reach their goals and get to the next level. The Rangers offer education, wellness surveys, leadership training, and other benefits to players and staff while making a positive impact in Kitchener and the surrounding community. The selfless attitude of Birch and the Rangers has made the team a fan favorite and has led to both players and staff members making jumps in their careers to the highest levels of hockey.

Ken Martel: How to Define and Capitalize on the Constraints Led Approach

TCS Live Ken Martel

Ken Martel concluded the first part of the day at the Power Center with one of the more unique presentations TCS Live has seen. Martel led an on-stage demonstration, using coaches from the audience and playing a variety of handball-style mini-games in front of the crowd in attendance. Martel’s goal was to outline the constraints-led approach, a coaching style that acknowledges individual, environmental, and task constraints and how they influence player development. Martel progressively introduced different variations to the game being played on stage, including the size of the playing area, the number of players, the scoring system, and ways to score. Martel used these constraints to show how changing the rules led to changes in behaviours such as increased communication, physicality, and movement. Martel stressed that every drill will incentivize certain behaviors and discourage others. The key for coaches is to step back and observe what is really happening in a drill so that they can adjust and stress certain areas of the game to maximize player development.

Sébastien Bordeleau: Rim Recoveries and Puck Protection

Moving over to Yost Ice Arena for the on-ice presentations, Sébastien Bordeleau demonstrated the momentum spin-out move, highlighting its various uses and different ways to perform the spin-out. As a skills coach for the Nashville Predators, Bordeleau has had the opportunity to work with some of the most skilled defensemen in the world, including Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm. The move is commonly used by defensemen as a form of rim recovery and a way to gain momentum driving toward the net. A player facing the boards retrieving a puck will quickly perform a spin move, shielding the puck from the defender and carrying speed toward the center of the ice. The spin-out can also be used as a form of puck protection. If a player is pinned up against the boards, they can use their strength to push off and spin away with the puck. The spin-out is a smaller skill in a player’s overall game, but practice and repetition of the move allow players to gain a competitive edge.

Jenna Trubiano: Late Game Offensive Tactics

During her childhood, Jenna Trubiano almost made a crucial mistake that would have ended her hockey career. After trying out for her first-ever hockey team, Trubiano almost didn’t bother checking the roster to see if she had made the team due to her lack of confidence. At the last second, she decided to check the roster and it changed her life. A former captain of the University of Michigan women’s hockey team and now the current Head Coach, Trubiano covered late-game tactics in her presentation at Yost. Michigan found themselves in many close games this past season and had success scoring goals in the final two minutes. Trubiano ran drills focused on battling in the corners, emphasizing the importance of winning battles under pressure for late-game success. Trubiano also ran zone entry drills, stressing the need for quick entries and puck possession in order to generate offence with the clock ticking away. Following Brandon Naurato’s presentation from yesterday, Trubiano gave the audience at TCS Live another reason to believe Michigan Hockey is in great hands.

Tobias Johansson: Coach and Play to Achieve

Back at the Power Center, Tobias Johansson presented on coaching and playing to achieve, in an attempt to change the traditional mindset of both players and coaches. The Head Coach of the Norwegian Men’s National Team believes that coaches should strive to make players a little better every day, instead of simply evaluating them on successes or failures. Johansson’s coaching philosophy consists of many unique elements. While most coaches in hockey highlight the importance of creating 2-on-1s, Johansson encourages his players to seek 1-on-2s, situations where a single player attracts multiple defenders to draw the opposing team out of position, subsequently creating an odd-man rush. Johansson encourages players to beat defenders 1-on-1, as opposed to just dumping the puck in. Johansson showed a powerful video of one of his youngest players failing a shoutout attempt against Kazakhstan and then scoring on the same exact move a few weeks later against Canada. The confidence that Johansson is able to instill in his players is unmatched and is one of the biggest reasons Norway continues to improve on a national scale.

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Andrew Leary

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