One of the great traditions of Colby Hockey is our end of the season banquet. Our team, staff and parents get together to celebrate our award winners and honor our senior class. We give each senior the opportunity to stand up and speak to the audience, sharing his memories of the program and giving thanks to those that helped him get there.

The opportunity to get up and give a speech at the end of your college hockey career is something that exists in few other places in life. When you retire from a desk job, you rarely get the chance to say thanks and goodbye to people. At the end of school you don’t give a speech to your classmates thanking them for all the good times. This is something that is unique and special.

Recognition is something that we don’t practice enough as a society. Not participatory recognition (i.e. 9th place trophies – we do too much of this), but true recognition to the people that help us become who we are and achieve the success that we have. How often do we thank a teacher or a mentor for their help and guidance? How frequently do we call a friend and say thanks for always being there for me?

As I was sitting at our banquet on Saturday I couldn’t help but think of what I would say and who I would thank if I had the opportunity to. I don’t have the proper venue or audience, but I am going to start to reach out to people who have helped me become who I am today. I want them to know they were important in my life and that I recognize the impact they’ve had on me. No one climbs a mountain or flies to space alone – it takes a group to build a success and that group deserves to hear “thank you.”


Learning from the NHL

It is great to have the NHL season up and running again. I tuned in to the Sabres-Red Wings last night and loved every minute of it. Any player, no matter how big or how small should watch the NHL every chance they get. It’s always fun to cheer on your favorite team, but watch two teams that you have no rooting interest in. It’s amazing what you can see and learn.

Things I noticed last night, in no particular order:

  • Skating ability/edge control – stops & starts, efficiency in movement (front & back), lateral agility
  • Awareness – everyone plays head up, players know when to jump into the play and when to wait
  • False information – head fakes, look offs, etc
  • Poise under pressure – know your outlets so you don’t panic with the puck

Just a sampling of the things you can learn from the NHL. They play at the highest level because they are the best in the world. They’re the best in the world because they are so good at the minutiae of the game. Fun to watch and fun to learn from.

An Experiment

Today I was inspired to start a behavioral experiment. I have a trait/behavior that I would like to change. My goal is to go 21 consecutive days without engaging in this behavior. Every day that I complete successfully, the band goes/stays on my left wrist. If I fail, the band goes back to my right wrist and I start my streak over from zero.

The common wisdom is that it takes 21 days to create/build a habit. Therefore my goal is 21 consecutive days. The rubber band forces me to be self-aware and acknowledge when I engage in the behavior I am trying to change. Others I’ve heard of found it to be so successful that by the end of 21 days it became second nature. We’ll see how it goes for me…I’ll keep you up to date on the results.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Friar Passing/BU Series

I have a warmup/passing series for you this week. This is also a 2-for-1…Drill A on the left side is called Friar Passing, while Drill B on the right side is the BU Series.


Drill A involves four lines and multiple pucks. Multiple players are in each line. It starts with just one puck, player 1 can pass to any other player, he or she then follows the pass to the line they passed to. This continues, with players passing and following their pass. Then add in a second puck, with both pucks moving at once. If they master this, then add a third puck. This drill works on passing, communication and awareness, as players have to identify who they are passing to and communicate at all times.

Drill B is a series. It starts with six players. Three are in one color, three are in another. The first part requires all players to skate around with a puck stickhandling inside the zone. Players work their hands and awareness. On a whistle, it then becomes a passing drill, with just two pucks – one for each color. Players must move around the zone, constantly exchanging the puck. On the second whistle, it becomes 3v3 keep away in the zone. Whichever team has possession must try to pass and maintain possession, while the other group tries to take the puck away. This aspect works both sides of the puck, as well as spacing, support and communication.