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  • Writer's pictureRick Traugott

Connect and Improve

It’s been almost a year since I launched my blog and website. To say the least it has been fascinating to learn about getting my message out there but what’s been more interesting is the terrific material on coaching that I have read from others and the wonderful connections I have made with folks who were perfect strangers at the outset that have become part of a smaller group of my “online” friends.

I thought I would tell you about a few of those online friends (some of who have become acquaintances) and tell you about the terrific things they do and share online.

Jaclyn Hawkins is the founder of Women Hockey Life ( I have always been in awe of the sheer volume of material about women’s hockey that is published on her site daily. It is always interesting and a good read. Jaclyn has brought together an amazing group of writers and bloggers. I am honoured that she has included many of my blog posts in the Coaches Corner of her site. Without question she has made a difference in promoting women’s hockey, not only in North America, but around the world.

When I started writing my book Creating a Culture of Confidence, I had asked my connections on social media to send me anything they might use as coaches to instill confidence in their players and their team. I had two wonderfully full replies from Hanspeter Wüthrich - a former junior player from Switzerland who turned to coach at the junior and now senior level. All of the material he sent me was terrific but I wanted to share today his “10 things to coach a team”. I believe most coaches practice these things on a daily basis but I also know that sometimes we have to remind ourselves how important these habits are.

10 things to coach a Team!

1. Give energy, don’t take it

2. Be a role model

3. Handle all (players) the same way

4. Strive for respect, not to be popular

5. Bring everyone to their limits

6. Solve conflicts fast

7. Everyone is important for success

8. Honest communication

9. Give (players) clear rules to follow

10. Be yourself (natural authority)

Warren Nye is a hockey coach from southwestern Ontario ( Sometimes I just shake my head and what goes on in youth sports and it’s always refreshing to be acquainted with someone who “gets it”. I believe Coach Nye gets it. He shares many great tips and much advice to players with regards to mental training and preparation, nutrition and skill development. Warren and I had a terrific chat by phone recently (nothing like old technology) and certainly connected on philosophy and shared some great stories.

Finally, Jeff German is a high school coach in Ohio with many years of experience. We first connected in July of this year after Jeff purchased my book on Torpedo Hockey. He said that after reading it he was excited about implementing it with his “young and fast” team this season. I have been fortunate to get regular updates from Jeff on the progress of the system with his team. Sounds like it has been positive and I love hearing about some of the adjustments he has made to some of the systems. I feel like I will have to have an updated version of the book once his season is over.

At the risk of sounding preachy, these connections are truly all about lifelong learning. As coaches we need to be open to new ideas and actively listen to and read what other coaches are doing and thinking. Find your inner circle of resources and connect with them. It will make a difference to you as a coach and be beneficial to your team.

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