Today we learn 4 common ways to win more hockey games. I will do this in the form of a short list:
1) Intimidate the Referee
Careful manipulation of the referee with degrading comments can be effective in getting calls in your favour. For example, if you are an older, intimidating coach, and the referee is younger, yelling loudly can easily intimidate the ref. When the ref is scared of you, they are more likely to give you calls in your favour. We can all agree that this tactic almost always works with refs you know you can intimidate. You have to be careful though. If the referee is an asshole, this tactic may actually backfire. Usually, as the bigger, older, and scarier coach, this shouldn’t be a problem.
2) Dump & Chase
We all know that the team that makes the least mistakes wins. So if you get your players to make the least challenging plays possible (dumps and chips) they will make less mistakes. When they make less mistakes, your team is more likely to win. This also has the benefit of increasing their confidence level. Make sure to stop the players that try making plays and moves. We don’t want them making a turnover.
The ideal chip or dump relieves pressure and gives possession to the other team so your team has a chance to set up the forecheck. We certainly know that turning the puck over through chips and dumps is better than turning it over trying to make a play. It’s just different.
3) Yell Direction at your Players
We can probably agree that your players don’t know what to do. That is why you are their coach. If they knew what to do, they wouldn’t need you. Right?
Players also have a short memory. It is often easiest to yell and direct them from the bench. It is much more difficult to teach them in advance. It is better to be involved in the game. It’s a mystery to all of us why NHL coaches don’t provide play by play direction to their players too.
4) Encourage your Players to Keep the Puck wide at all times
Of course the middle of the ice is the dangerous ice. A smart team keeps the puck to the outside at all times. They breakout on the boards. They enter the offensive zone wide. They immediately hit the wide option on the regroup.
Even though players have less options out wide, it is safer. Because it is safer, it is better. And remember, we don’t want players making mistakes. That just ruins everything.
Regular readers know that I do my best to report effective coaching strategies. So they might detect that these common tactics are common…but ineffective. Or immoral. Or both.
Regular readers will have detected how and why the strategies listed above are not effective. They will appreciate the perspective and continue improving as a coach. A number of new readers will likely be offended by what has been suggested in this article. That is a sign of cognitive dissonance.
And goalies say mind games don’t work…
If you thought this article was my worst yet, then you should check out my blog.
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