At some point in the last decade I severely overvalued how important I was to the process of building a hockey team. Sure, I was the head coach of a bantam AAA squad that had been spinning its wheels for years trying to reclaim some of the prominence it had experienced in the late 90’s, but even still, I was just one piece of the puzzle.
So if you want to survive the September struggle, focus on your goals of building your team, and keep your chin up while you’re doing it. Focus on the excitement and the opportunity for a new season to start rather than worrying about the decisions to come.
Above all else, remember this: it’s still alright to have a little fun in September. You want to have a fun season, right? Set the tone early.
Step 1: Team First
I was naive and self-centred and didn’t realize it at the time, but building that team was a lot harder for the parents and players involved than it was for me. They’d been living and breathing the difficulties in the organization for years and I had been on the scene for three weeks. I mentioned to my general manager how exhausted I was, probably because I thought it would earn me some respect, or more likely a free pass from criticism and angry emails.
The truth is that the parents don’t care how difficult September is for you. They’ve got more important people to worry about.
- On Youth Athletes, Pressure, & Using Your Voice
- Finding a Role for Every Ice Hockey Player
- Tyler Kuntz: Life is Just Hockey in a Different Arena
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