Want to Win—There Are No Little Things

Here is an article that hit home with me. Our team is at the tail end of a string of games during which we played hard, played strong, competed—we just didn’t win. There was a situation or two in every game where someone didn’t get the job done. The isolated situation could, and often is described as a little thing that led to the winning goal against.

The Simplest Detail is a December 1, 2009 post by Mike Tully on his site www.totalgameplan.com He gives us a great example for his point that ‘there are no little things’ if you want to get the job done.

Anyone who thinks that success is complicated should look at the Grey Cup final — the championship of the Canadian Football League.

Montreal won because Saskatchewan received a penalty for having 13 men on the field. Damon Duval missed a field goal that would have won the game, but got a second chance because of the penalty. Let that sink in for a moment: After weeks of training camp, a long season, and a bruising game, Saskatchewan lost a title because it could not put the right number of players on the field.

“It was a lack of communication … but it should have been recognized,” coach Ken Miller said about the critical penalty. “The disappointment of this loss is going to affect us as long as we’re on this planet. Total 100 percent disappointment.”

Saskatchewan’s pain can become your wisdom. No detail is too small. And never let yourself think that success is something magical or complicated. It’s not. As North Carolina women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance is constantly preaching, it’s about doing things right every time.

Remember Thomas Keller, the world-class chef who said that no one step in cooking is particularly difficult?

All Saskatchewan had to do was count the number of players on the field. That doesn’t sound particularly difficult. But it didn’t get done. And the pain will linger a lifetime.

The StarPhoenix newspaper reported it this way:

“It’s not a moment thing; it’s a lifetime thing,” said Saskatchewan special-teams coach Kavis Reed, insisting that he, and not the unnamed extra player, should take the blame. “This is something I’ve got to live with for the rest of my life, and it’s something we have to live with for the rest of our lives. A mistake was made that essentially cost us the Grey Cup championship. I’ve got to shoulder that, I’ve got to live with that, I’ve got to replay that for the rest of my life.”

Never let that happen to you. There are no little things.

Most coaches will admire, and likely have feet the pain of the Saskatchewan special-teams coach. Getting things right every time may seem like an impossible task, but it should be a goal for all coaches and players.

Coaching Hockey For Dummies

Coaching Hockey For Dummies (For Dummies (Sports & Hobbies))

Let me be honest about one of the reasons I like this book so much. I am one of the authors. My co-author, and the brains behind the book, is Gail Reynolds. We are very proud of how Coaching Hockey For Dummies turned out. It is a user friendly and fun way for coaches, players, parents, and fans to learn more about coaching hockey, and learn more about the game of ice hockey in general.

Here are some of the reasons why you will like this book.

Coaches will be able to get information on all the topics they will encounter over the course of a season. There will be tips on big picture areas like yearly planning and goal setting, along with daily concerns like practice planning and designing drills for skill development.

Players will be able to gain insight on team play and how to improve individual skills. Now you can be sure, as a player, to be on the same page as your coaching staff.

Parents can browse through Coaching Hockey For Dummies to better understand what the coach is trying to accomplish during practice sessions and games. And, parents may possibly see skills, and areas of the game, that little Johnny or Janie need to work on.

Fans have the ability to gain a more complete understanding of the game by reading Coaching Hockey For Dummies. Areas like the power play and penalty killing strategies are addressed in the book. Now, as a fan, you can better enjoy the game after reading about how these special teams work. Click on the link above on this page for your copy of Coaching Hockey for Dummies, and start enjoying hockey, and hockey coaching, at a whole new level.

Here is the Contents at a Glance:

Introduction 1
Part I: The Puck Drops Here: Coaching Hockey 101 7
Chapter 1: Jumping in with Both Skates 9

Chapter 2: Knowing the Basics of the Game 19

Chapter 3: Getting Organized: Your Keys to Success 47

Chapter 4: Running Great Practices 69

Chapter 5: Game On! 81

Part II: Coaching Beginners 93

Chapter 6: Teaching Fundamental Skills 95

Chapter 7: Drills for Beginners 123

Chapter 8: Basic Coaching Strategies 139

Part III: Coaching Intermediate Players 145

Chapter 9: Teaching the Finer Skills 147

Chapter 10: Coaching Offense to Intermediate Players 167

Chapter 11: Coaching Defense to Intermediate Players 175

Chapter 12: Teaching Goaltending Basics 185

Chapter 13: Drills for Intermediate Players 199

Chapter 14: Refining Your Coaching Strategies 225

Part IV: Coaching Advanced Players 233

Chapter 15: Teaching Advanced Skills 235

Chapter 16: Coaching Offense to Advanced Players 245

Chapter 17: Coaching Defense to Advanced Players 255

Chapter 18: Special Teams 263

Chapter 19: Drills for Advanced players 275

Chapter 20: Further Refining Your Coaching Strategies 297

Part V: Common Coaching Conundrums 307

Chapter 21: Keeping Your Team Healthy and Injury Free 309

Chapter 22: Coping With Challenges 319

Part VI: The Part of Tens 329

Chapter 23: Ten Parts of a Great Practice 331

Chapter 24: Ten Things to Ask Yourself Midway Through the Season 335

Chapter 25: Ten Things You Want Kids to Say About Their Hockey Experience 339

Index 343