The Second Half

Everyone in the hockey world has a holiday break. It’s longer for some (NCAA) than others (NHL), but every team gets a few days to recharge the batteries. This break rarely comes at the midpoint schedule, but most teams consider it the halfway point, breaking the year into the first half and the second half.

The second half is where teams make or break their seasons. The second half is where teams can determine their faith, taking a jump or maintaining their previous level of success.

As coaches, we look to our players to mature and grow over the course of the season. The break provides a great opportunity for growth, as it gives players a chance to reflect on the beginning of their season – what went right, what went wrong and what they need to continue to improve on to have an impact. There should be no more surprises, as everyone has experienced game time and had a chance to get comfortable with the coaching staff.

How can you facilitate this growth and development? Individual meetings are helpful, talking with players to help them understand their dimensions, strengths and weaknesses. Asking questions, guiding players towards the answers that you are looking for as a coach. Individual film work – showing players things from the first half that you want to continue or change. Finally, giving players some time away to reflect on their own about their game as well as recharge and renew their passion for the game – “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

In the second half you look for your first year players to play like mature veterans, and your older players to take the reigns and lead the team to success. The first half was the time for mistakes a growth, the second half is the time to make noise through the growth and maturation of your players.

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One Response to The Second Half

  1. Arlen Hall says:

    This philosophy works well in business as well as hockey. Mid-year reviews and one-on-one meetings are essential.

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