Willie Desjardins – Building the Foundation for a Winning Team Culture

“Champions are made in empty gyms” – Muhammad Ali  Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Willie Desjardins opens his presentation with this quote from Muhammad Ali to emphasize that championship teams are created in practice and that, as a coach, what happens in practice is on your watch. Meaning you’re responsible for the actions, attitude and work […]

FROM BEHIND THE BENCH: Into the Wild by Bliss Littler

Bliss Littler had 12 years’ experience in the United States Hockey League (with the Omaha Lancers, Tri-City Storm and Topeka Scarecrows) and held USA Hockey’s all-time junior hockey record for career wins before he joined the Wenatchee Wild. After leaving Omaha, it was a non-compete clause in the USHL that limited his options and nudged […]

Barry Jansen – Assessing Your Leadership Style

How would you define your leadership style? If you’re struggling with this question perhaps you’ve never considered how effectively you lead and communicate with your players and staff. So much of the focus with coaches is on acquiring new drills, or learning about new tactics and systems, that it’s easy to overlook that there is […]

What is a ‘Hockey Guy’?

Is it the guy who sits in a bar yelling at the players zipping across the enormous tv screen? Yelling at them to ‘hit ’em’ or ‘shoot’ or ‘move the *&*#$* puck!’. Or is a ‘hockey guy’ the guy who can tell you who the Canucks drafted first in ‘76 (trick question, first pick that […]

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Five steps to overcoming fear in Hockey!

It’s that feeling you get before the game.  Sometimes, it even happens during the game. You do your best to shake it off, take your mind off it, and psych yourself up…whatever it takes to not dwell on it. But, it’s there. It’s the one four-letter word you actually don’t like using or thinking about: […]

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FROM BEHIND THE BENCH: The Italian Job by Mark Holick

Mark Holick was very familiar with North American ice after leading the WHL’s Prince George Cougars and the Kootenay Ice, as well as the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. Not to mention coaching stints with the South Surrey Eagles (leading to a Royal Bank Cup victory), as well as multiple turns with the BCHL and AJHL. These […]

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How To End Sulking Players

Today, I make the bold claim that we can end sulking players. Forever! Wouldn’t that be nice? We all know the “Sulking Player”. They’re upset. They drain your energy. They drain the team’s energy. They don’t communicate. When they DO play, they suck. AND the parents are probably sulking TOO! It’s just a lose-lose situation. […]

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