Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Hockey Life: Someday, soon

From all of the roles within a hockey game, from playing to watching, there's really only one left that truly captivates my attention -- coaching. Not sure why, but a voice inside my head keeps turning up the volume. At first, it was a whisper. Over the years, and especially over the past few, the voice has gotten louder.

And, now, it's at a point where it's too hard to ignore anymore.

More than anything else, the curiosity to see whether I'd be good at it is the motivating factor. I've played the game long enough to know. I've watched games, at most every level. And, for the past six-plus years, I've worked with Colin on different aspects of the game.

For good or bad, though, I want to find a way, and more importantly the time, to become certified, even if I don't work with any other players but my own son. It's more about gaining insight into the teaching, the dynamics and the behind-the-scenes mechanics of building a team from scratch.

The biggest obstacle, I believe, is my work schedule, primarily nights and weekends. Unfortunately, I've yet to win a ginormous Powerball jackpot, meaning that I'll have to continue within journalism, as I have for the past 28-plus years now, and remain far from being one-dimensional. But, still, if this can be done online, and I believe it can, there's no reason to not try.

Trust me, I have no delusions of grandeur. I'd be happy as the proverbial clam, if you will, to work with a rec-league team, serving as a substitute or, perhaps, starting out as an assistant. Just like anything else I've done, I've worked my way up learning the ropes. Sure, I may understand the game, but there's a lot to learn about coaching. In a way, it'd be like serving an apprenticeship.

As a coach, it's more important to create hockey players, people who are willing to adopt the team concept. Sure, each team needs its superstars, so to speak. But a team still needs players who hustle, make smart plays and never put themselves above their teammates. Those are lessons, I believe, that can last a lifetime.

Here in Florida, I've witnessed both ends of the coaching spectrum. There are solid coaches who command the respect of their players and parents, even outside of their organization. Good coaches, too, who are in it for the teaching. Unfortunately, there are others who do it only so their child can make a team or, far worse, fail to maintain a safe environment for their players.

Thankfully, each one provides a teaching moment. That's why it's time to start learning.

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