"Our motto here is: if you’re having fun, you’re playing free. That’s when you’re playing your best hockey.”

At Arizona State University, a belief is held within the athletics department that everything translates. Not surprisingly Greg Powers, Head Coach of the ASU men’s hockey team, is an advocate of this, which he explained during his 16-minute College Hockey Inc. Virtual Coaching Clinic presentation.

“ASU is built on a really positive culture, both on and off the ice,” said Powers. “And we believe that practice is a huge part of shaping and defining your culture as a team, and you have to make practice paramount every day.”

Powers, who recently completed his 14th overall season on the Sun Devil coaching staff and his seventh as head coach of ASU’s NCAA Division I Hockey program, discusses how behaviours and habits in practice drive the results everyone wants to see in-game. The 2019 & 2020 Spencer Penrose Award finalist for Division I Coach of the Year, looks outside of hockey during his talk saying that how you conduct yourself in every aspect of life translates to success on the ice. The players that live the right way, play the right way. They play free of distraction and have fun playing the game they love, thus helping the team achieve its goals.

It’s a simple concept, and also a deeply complicated one at the same time.

“It all revolves around practice,” explains Powers. “We want to have fun and compete every day in practice, always being in a relentless pursuit of a competitive edge. Our motto here is: if you’re having fun, you’re playing free. That’s when you’re playing your best hockey.”

During his presentation, Powers examines the ASU culture pyramid, explains why demanding great practice habits matters, and introduces four practice drills (including actual footage), before presenting five steps to practicing with a purpose. 

This video is available exclusively to members of The Coaches Site.

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Gregory Powers

Powers is currently in his ninth season as Head Coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils Men’s Hockey Team. He played 4 seasons as a goalie with the Sun Devils, earning all-American honors in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Powers would return to his alma mater as an Assistant Coach in 2008 and would take over as Head Coach in 2010. He has led them to an ACHA National Championship and helped ASU become a Division 1 NCAA Program in 2015.  

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