Learning from Others

The offseason is the time when players and coaches alike have the opportunity to learn and grow. Players can improve their strength, their conditioning levels, and increase their skill thresholds on the ice. Coaches can improve their methodology, their philosophies and their leadership abilities. The key to all of this improvement is hard work and a willingness to learn. You never know who, what, or when you may learn something that will make the difference in a long season.

On a personal level, during the offseason I try to consume as much information as possible. I try to read a wide variety of things that may open my eyes to something new. Management books, coaching books, blogs, tweetchats, etc. Any one of these things may present an idea in a new light or address something that may help us win a game next year.

I try to branch outside of hockey. I want to talk to as many non-hockey coaches and read as many non-hockey things as possible. This way I have an opportunity to learn outside of the game. Talking to basketball coaches about how they manage their practices and game days, reading books about football coaches and how they achieved greatness, discussing season planning with a baseball coach, going over organizational theory with a business professor. I believe that all of these activities will help me and my team improve in some manner in the upcoming season. When you look outside of your sport, it becomes less about the sport itself and more about coaching, organization and management theory. It is an opportunity to hear a new voice and a new point of view and it may just present an option that makes the difference in your season.

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