"You have to have a plan for how you're going to do business as a coach."

Practice with a purpose.

It’s a phrase that new Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Todd Reirden says all coaches use, but for him, it’s especially important to have a clear plan. That has never been more true than for today’s player, who wants to understand why they’re doing things more than ever before.

The former Washington Capitals head coach, who won a Stanley Cup in 2018 as Barry Trotz’s assistant, aims to create a positive culture where players enjoy coming to the rink knowing they have an opportunity to get better, while still being held accountable to a high standard.

Reirden understands that there are many ways to communicate his message, beyond talking.

“You need to have some different ways to tap into their abilities to learn things,” Reirden said during his presentation at the 2020 NHLCA Global Coaches’ Clinic. “You’ve got to be able to have a mission statement and you have to have a plan for how you’re going to do business as a coach.”

Reirden says he likes to appeal to as many senses as possible to add credence and a way for players to relate to each subject, often using video for visual appeal.

Details and habits are his calling card, because if you instill those in practice, they’ll become second nature in game situations.

Sign up for a membership to The Coaches Site for access to the full 68-minute presentation Reirden made at the NHLCA Global Coaches’ Clinic.

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The NHL Coaches’ Association is a professional organization that provides support and assistance to the head, associate, assistant, goalie and video coaches of the 32 teams in the National Hockey League.

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