Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – There Is No Room For Your Ego


There is a difference between being an ego maniac and confident player.  To be sure, every player need to be confident in his ability in order to have success in the game.  To be ego maniac is to think you are better than you really are.

This weekend, like most weekend, I sit and I watch the camp.  I also sit and listen to the player and the parents in the audience.  As a good friend of mine says, “one key to success is having a heightened sense of awareness”.  Players that achieve high levels of success have a better sense of awareness than the average player both on and off the ice.

If you talk to NHL player he is always aware that people are watching his performance, he is equally aware that people are watching what he does and hearing what he says off the ice.  NHL player almost always exhibits confidence, but that confidence is tempered by humility.  Very rarely do you see ego maniac even in the best of the best players in the world.

Why then is it that so many young men now seem to be ego maniacs?  When did it become alright for player to talk badly about another player in order to make himself look or feel better?  When did it become acceptable for parent to talk badly about organizations and coaches they have played for in the past?

For sure not every player or family have great experience with every team they play for.  Not every person enjoy shopping at K-Mart either, but they do not sit and talk about K-Mart in public.

This weekend, and almost every other weekend I attend camp I sit in stands and listen as much as I watch.  The things parents and players say sometimes are shocking.  This weekend I actually had a parent say “He should have made XXXXXXX but the Coach was an #%#, so we came here as a back up plan.”  I responded by asking “What did Coach do to be an #$#?”  Parent answers, “He didn’t know what he was doing when he picked the team.  He picked XXXXXX when my son played for XXXXXX last year and XXXXXXX isn’t even as good as my son.”

The parent then asked me what I thought about the son.  I said, “I think he needs to work on his foot speed and transitioning.  He does not pivot his hips correctly and until he learns to do that he is not ready for this level.”  The parent got up and walked away.

The problem with players and parents is that they are so used to having coaches say how good they are that they don’t know what they need to work on.  When the player hear what he need to work on from someone else, they get upset because someone else tell the truth to them?  The problem of the over inflated ego is only passed on to the next coach who has to deal with it.

If you can’t take rejection or criticism, you need to re-think your career choice.  Coaches become more critical the higher you climb.

The end line is simple, there is no need for the ego maniac.  Teams do not want to deal with player and parents with the ego problem.  It does not matter how good you are if your ego is a problem you will be traded or cut a lot in your career.  If you keep on being cut, but you are performing well in camp it is likely your ego and attitude is the reason.