Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What is the Value of a Qualified Coach?




Just over 3.5 years ago, a goofy friend of mine named Tim asked me if I had ever played hockey.  I had not played hockey when Tim asked me this question but I had always wanted to play hockey. Tim proceeded to tell me that if I could learn to play hockey the way I played shortstop on the softball field, I’d be a really good hockey player.

Tim did a great job in stroking my ego enough to get me to go to Play It Again sports to buy a bunch of smelly used hockey equipment.  Now that I’ve played hockey for several years, I can tell you that being good at hockey has nothing whatsoever to do with being good at playing shortstop.

My Adult Novice Hockey League

One of the coolest things we have going in Colorado Springs, CO is the adult hockey league at Honnen ice rink on the campus of Colorado College.  For the adult novice league, each team has a volunteer coach.  The coaches are often the age of or even younger than the adult novice players but they all have significant hockey experience. My 3.5 year hockey coach is named Jim.

For last Thursday night’s game, I was feeling pretty good and I must have had 7-10 solid shots on goal in periods 1 and 2.  However, I didn't have any goals.  I was frustrated at the moment when I turned to Coach Jim to ask him what I needed to adjust to find the back of the net with the puck. 

A Coach Has Value

Because Jim is observing the game and he isn't involved in the heat of the game out on the ice, he can always see what those of us who are playing can’t see.  Jim didn't waste any time in suggesting an adjustment that ended up changing my game and my team’s game.  He told me to go back to my normally quick shot rather than taking time to set up for the perfect shot.

The Result of Jim’s Coaching?

The third period began and I was able to quickly put Jim’s advice to use.  I scored not just one but three goals in the third period.  I didn't do anything I hadn't done in periods 1 or 2 except for taking Jim’s advice to heart.  When the puck came near my stick and I had a shot, I shot quickly.  The result was a third period hat trick.

Who Needs a Coach?

Everybody can benefit from having a coach.  Making sure that you connect to someone who is gifted to coach, someone who has proper tools available to assist with their coaching and someone who has a passion for helping others to get to where they want to go is very important if you seek to find a coach.

Coaches can see what their coaching clients sometimes can’t see.   This was the case with me and Coach Jim.  Since I was deeply engaged in the hockey game last Thursday, I was able to benefit from the fact that Coach Jim was not deeply engaged in the game. 

I tapped into not only his vision of the ice and my play in particular but I also tapped into his 30+ years of hockey experience compared to my 3.5 years on the ice.



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