Belleville Senators of the American Hockey League, the farm team of the Ottawa Senators, is a hotspot for teaching young hockey players about the importance of playing fast. It sounds easy enough, but for Assistant Coach Paul Boutilier, playing fast on the ice all comes back to the amount of information retained off the ice.
“Our goal when we’re coaching is retention rate. How can we get our players to retain as much as possible? We want them to have a feel for the game so they can play fast. Feel is the mortar of a player’s development.”
Think fast, then play fast. That’s the formula Coach Boutilier and the staff at Belleville have employed. One way they search for results is simply to ask their players to analyze their own performance. That way their minds are engaged and they become part of the solution before stepping foot back on the ice.
And for Paul, some of the most gratifying moments as a coach come when players ask for feedback. Watch the video below to hear Paul Boutilier’s favourite response when his players ask what they did wrong.