The Senior Coaching Chronicles Part Six

Just to bring you up to date . Our season ended 30 days ago. The last five installments has documented our journey of coaching . Many times Coaches will ask themselves why do I do this? Is it really worth it? Well, I am attaching a letter that I got from the parents of one of our players. I have changed the names to protect privacy.

Dear Coaches,

I not only want to wholeheartedly thank you for all of the time, effort and dedication you’ve put forward for the boys, but wanted to share with you how you have left your mark on this hockey family.

I have to admit that this season was not only challenging for the boys, it was disheartening for many of their parents. With every game and practice, the sense of defeat became more visible and the uncertainty of the impacts on our sons became worrisome. Personally, none of what Alec and I found troubling, had anything at all to do with losing games. It had to do with Levis` display of self-doubt. The confidence, determination and passion that was once there, seemed to have disappeared. It gave us that sinking feeling, the one you get when you know that you are about to experience loss.

In the days following the coach`s dismissal, the news that an experienced coaching team was stepping in to help out was encouraging, but we couldn’t help feel a little skeptical after learning about the shameful conduct and damaging treatment our boys were exposed to. Surprisingly, the bad experience was quickly put behind us and the effects of your kindness and positive influence were immediately noticed.

The respect, confidence and commitment you showed the boys, earned you the trust needed to change their mind frame and move them forward. You managed this in a matter of a week. It was noticed. The moment they felt that you truly believed in them, you gained their full buy-in. This is when the transformation was most obvious. You managed all of this in one short month.

The influence you’ve had on Levi in particular was quite moving. The kid reached a point where he rarely spoke to us anymore, which we simply attributed to being a teenager. Within a few weeks under your wing, suddenly Levi had plenty say about the practices. He enthusiastically described how they were being driven hard, how the coaches` actually cared, how they were able to joke around and how they were reminded that their teammates will become their lifelong friends (right Tim!). We realized that his silence had nothing to do with the teenage brain. The kid just wanted to bury the bad experiences.

In the little time that you were afforded to transform this team, I can assure that you not only helped grow our son’s confidence, you had a hand in helping build his character and contribute towards strengthening his emotional stability. You are responsible for reigniting the flame. I can assure you that Levi will always be reminded of this formula:

Success = Talent and Ability + Application Under Pressure + Emotional Stability +/- Luck

I also want to mention that the courtesy and consideration you extended to the parents, by regularly communicating your thoughts and plans and allowing us to reach out when needed, was valued. It demonstrated integrity and definitely gave you credibility. Game scores, line choices, ice times were all irrelevant in our eyes, but what meant something was the confidence and new level of comfort we were seeing on the ice. I don’t think any of us will ever forget the day you all stepped in and showed up for our team.

You took a broken and demoralized team and nursed it back to health, all in one month. You are all truly inspiring. You may feel that you ran out of time, but the time you did spend with the boys was valuable and life changing. What they have learned from you, will influence and help shape the way they think moving forward. I can confirm that your players grew wise and most should aspire to walk in your footsteps and spread the same message of positivity you motivated them with.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for caring for our son and all of the boys. You are all one of a kind and make the most incredible team. We truly hope that you continue this inspirational work.


            Marion and Alec

Until next time!

Be well and take care of yourself.

Follow on Twitter @Betweentheears2

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