The Minor Hockey season has come to a close and requests for coaching applications have gone out.
Minor Hockey Associations will receive coaching resumes filled with Hockey Canada Certification levels, Coaching pedigrees, and personal hockey accomplishments. Don’t get me wrong these are all necessary because they are the basis on which Associations base their decisions on. Associations want to what have winning teams, most Coaches base their success on winning and parents base their child’s enjoyment level on winning.
I have sat on coaches selection committees and have made some good choices and made some I wish I could have a do over on. One question I wish I could have asked was “Tell me about the age group you want to Coach? “ Chances are that the Coach would answer with a hockey based answer instead of what are the characteristics of the age group. For example if it was a Generation Y group, some of the characteristics would be:
Seek Feedback: They look for feedback about how they are doing frequently.
Seek Variety: Look for challenges and do not want to experience boredom.
Seek Direction: Expect you to earn their trust and loyalty.
Tech-Centric: They are connected all over the world by technology and see solutions in tech terms.
It is important for Coaches to understand the generation they will be coaching. Why is that important? Kids are kids and hockey players are hockey players right? Understanding the generation is important because it helps you interact and understand your player. You get a better handle on why they behave the way they do. By understanding the generation you can actually shorten the gap, which can help you be a better Coach. In the classroom teachers understand their student’s and teach accordingly, but for some reason in the world of hockey, Coaches for the most part feel they do not have to understand their players. I played in a generation that questioning the Coach was taboo and you did exactly as you were told. He coached you played. End of discussion. Minor Hockey Associations can take two approaches when selecting Coaches. It can be like a microwave dinner where it less time consuming, sometimes too hot to handle, consistently mediocre and is the easy way out. Or they make a dinner from scratch