Hockey 2008/09 Season Closes

This season was somewhat of a difficult season for me. Last January, I had my left hip totally replaced. My doctor made it clear to me that I should stay off the ice for awhile. Sitting from a far was painful, extremely painful (but the hip is fine).

My reflections on the year:

  • I turned the program over to one of my assistants and he did a good job.
  • Playing Booster Club President is not a position cut out for me.
  • After so many years of coaching, sitting in the stands as a spectator is not the life for me. When I did yell out stuff the players recognized the voice and looked up in the stands. Even the goalie!
  • The team played well, when I did show up. I went to 3 games (they only saw me one time) and they won all 3 games. I was as proud as if I was involved. Some of those players, I have coached for 3 years.
  • The overall record of the team was 10-12. Success is measured in different ways. Could the team have won more games – sure. Did they have an overall successful season – I think so. There is always room for improvement. What I saw most of all, was that some of the younger players developed – and to me that is what it is all about.

The most difficult thing for me now is what am I going to do next season. There is no way, I can sit on the sidelines and be passive. There is no way, that I can take the ice and skate with the team all out. I have to decide what am I going to do – and how can I be involved. Really involved.

Most people never truly get to understand how much you can miss something – till it is taken away. For me, I now know.  The good thing is I have all summer to figure it out, talk it over with the family and spend sometime with the high school league officials.

Look for a Hockey post in the June/July timeframe…

  • Ladee Rickard

    Hockey and Team Leadership…

    Whether you are in the middle of all of the action, or remotely participating in the process, there is action. The coach is directly interacting with the players, and understands the situation and attitudes from a hands-on perspective. The further you get from “the bench”, the easier it is to spectulate about the right action, the right move, the right decision. And the harder it is to feel that the right action, move and decision has been made. It is a learning experience to grow to a position of broad influence over an extended group larger than the 20 players on the team. It is difficult to let go of the position of direct influence. (See the micro-managing discussion.)

    This directly relates to business. Often team managers are promoted to higher management positions, and struggle with the increasing remoteness that successive promotions provide. They long for the days when they could be “hands-on with the team”.

    What training does an organization need to provide to allow strong and capable team leaders the tools required to continue their growth and positive input at a higher level?

  • @Ladee – thanks for pulling in the sports and team management together. Your points are spot on… From my standpoint, when looking at this past season, I used to be the program manager and head coach. I also assumed both roles. This season, I helped by offering my services as a consultant to the team leads and carried the role of booster club president.

    In the past, we have used planning sessions to layout the roles of the volunteers, the upcoming goals that we want to achieve and list the checkpoint dates. We had a small team of volunteers that have been together for quite awhile. Definitely made for a higher performing team. Sticking to the management task cycle is a wonderful starting point.

    Next season, I truly would recommend training the volunteers upfront is necessary for a completely successful season.
    – The coaches can focus on player development, team development on and off ice, conditioning and so on.
    – Booster club can focus on providing resources to the coaches.
    – Team Manager can focus on participation with the league, communications to stakeholders and act as a resource for the coaches.
    – Parents and players have their roles spelled out and can focus on them.

    For me, personally, I think my strengths probably would be better served to be a program manager (consult on coaching – when asked) and help keep the team of volunteers on task for a successful season (on and off the ice). As measured by team feedback, league feedback and program team self evaluation.