"Practice the way you want to play."

Note: Andre Tourigny was named head coach of the Arizona Coyotes in the summer of 2021.

Who among us is guilty of over-coaching at times?

It’s easy to run the video sessions a couple minutes longer each day. We’ve all jammed one too many concepts into a practice or training camp session. When you place focus on multiple angles, ultimately they all get lost in the haze.

For Ottawa 67’s head coach Andre Tourigny, there are a select few key principles that build the foundation of playing the game the right way. Sure, these days hockey players come in all shapes, sizes, and moulds, but ultimately each individual serves a purpose: to help the team find success.

See also:

What does that process look like? What does it mean to play the game the right way?

Coach Tourigny and the 67’s want to get the puck back as quickly as possible so they can transition from defence to offence. To do that, players have to win their battles – this is a pillar of playing the right way.

When a player goes into the corner, how often do they come out with the puck?

Playing the right way isn’t easy — if it was, everyone would do it and our game would be boring. For Tourigny, perfecting these concepts starts in practice. Without healthy practice habits, it’s nearly impossible to play the right way for an extended period of time.

And the great news for coaches is that you can teach these habits. You can teach a competitive mindset, as we’ve learned from Vegas Golden Knights assistant coach Mike Kelly.

Ultimately it’s up to the player to buy in. And when they do, and they play the right way, everybody wins in the long run.

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Key Quotes:

  • “Win your battle. That’s what makes defence lead to great offence. You need to win your battle.”

  • “Practice the way you want to play. If a player bumbles a pass in practice, are they stopping on the puck or do they just carry on and grab the next one?”

Try This:

  • Create a list that describes what it looks like when your team is playing the right way.

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André Tourigny

Tourigny has over 20 years of experience coaching junior and professional hockey. He will serve as the Canadian Head Coach at the upcoming U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and as an Assistant at the 2019-2020 WJCs. His first junior coaching stop would be with Shawinigan of the QMJHL, before joining the the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies as GM/Head Coach. In 11 seasons, he would set the QMJHL record for most games coached with one franchise and also take home the Ron Lapointe Coach of the Year Award in 2005. Tourigny would then make the jump to the NHL, spending several years as an Assistant with the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators. He would work his way back to junior hockey and the 67s, where he has been Head Coach and VP. of Hockey Operations for two seasons. Tourigny’s international resume also includes back to back Silver’s with Canada at the 2010 and 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships as an Assistant Coach.

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