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Confessions Of A Junior Hockey Coach – Listening And Communication Skills

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

Many time I go to the practices and to the games and sit behind the benches to hear the coaches do the coaching.  It is important to know what the coach is telling the player to do in order to see if the player is actually doing it.

Much information can be learned about the player and the coach simply by listening to the communication style and what is being communicated.  This sometime can be the most valuable information you can receive.

Often time we hear the phrase “buying in to the system” when coach talk about his player in both a positive and negative way.  Either the player buy in or not buy in.

Different people communicate in different ways.  It is only a natural thing for this to be.  We all grow up in different ways, some with different cultures, and almost all with unique communication styles.

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 system 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.

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.

So the next time you find yourself saying “I am just going to do it my way” remember the decision may have long lasting effect on you reputation.  That player reputation will be known to all coach in short period of time.

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


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