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An Advisers Life – Time To Grow Up – Listening And Communication Skills

If at first you dont succeed…….Try doing what your adviser told you to do the first time!

Holy shit. How bad some people’s communication skills are today is simply mind boggling. From non existant communication, to incoherent, to completely nonsensical.

It is time to grow up and learn how to communicate boys. I dont care if youre 16 or 20, if you cannot communicate, you are going to have a lot of problems in hockey and in life. Talking smack to the boys in the room, and running your mouth on the ice, but you cant talk to your coach, adviser or parent in a way that makes any sense?

And for good measure. Mommies and Daddies need to stop talking for their kids when it comes to hockey matters. Stop going to main training camps. Stop trying to be involved and micromanaging your child’s hockey. He got to the high level, now let high level people do their jobs.

The absolute nightmare stories I am hearing from coaches today about player and parent communication should have the world very concerned.

When coaches, owners or people in authority positions speak you players, it is intended to have an impact. It is intended to develop open and clear communication. It doesnt matter if its about a system they are implementing or new team workout times, or even new billet rules.

Conversely, when players initiate conversations with people in authority positions, they should be direct, and to the point. They should make sense and be detailed. Dont just talk about why you dont like something on the power play, explain what it is that you dont like. Dont just talk about why you dont like your billet, give specific reasons. Without specifics nothing can be resolved or changed.

Different people communicate in different ways.  It is only a natural thing that we have our own ways of expressing thoughts.  We all grow up in different ways, some with different cultures, and almost all with unique communication styles.

That said, there is only a certain amount of time anyone is going to allow for thoughts to be expressed. And if you cant eventually express them clearly, you are going to have problems.

If you cant talk to your coach, GM or adviser, how do you think you are going to be able to talk to an NCAA coach in a way that makes him interested in you.

If you dont think NCAA coaches ask about your communication with your current and former coaches, you have no ioidea how this system works.

If you think an NCAA coach wants to talk with mommy or daddy, then you are likely not going to play college hockey. Two reasons for this. First, coaches only want to deal with a parent on an official visit and for a limited amount of time. Second, the parents are not going to be the ones communicating with coaches on the ice and in the school environment. So, mommies and daddies stop micromanaging.

Communication! Practice it. Off the ice and on it.

For the player it is imperative to be known as someone who “buys in”.  It is part of your reputation as the player and seen as a character trait by coaches looking at you for the future.

Lets be honest though, not every coach system fit with every player he recruit.  Not every player meant to play in every system.  “Buying in” is not a statement of belief that the system is the best.  It is a statement that say you are a coachable player and are responsible to fulfill your given assignment in that system.

Of course not all systems are going to showcase the goal scorer or dangler.  So if you the dangler and you are in the defense first system, you have to “buy in”.  If not, whether you like the system or not, you get the reputation of not being coachable and not being able to communicate.

If you find yourself in the position of filling a role you have not filled before, you must learn and master the role.  It will never hurt you to gain more knowledge and learn different technique for more well rounded game. To do this you must ask questions and communicate

So the next time you find yourself saying “I am just going to do it my way” or “this is what I think”, remember the decision may have a long lasting effect on your reputation.  That player reputation will be known to all coachs in a short period of time.

So, if at first you done succeed…….Try doing what you were told to do the first time!

Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser

[email protected]

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