Traveling through Denver this past weekend, I finally met with my third mentor in as many weeks. This time it was University of Denver Head Men's Hockey coach George Gwozdecky. Coach Gwozdecky offered me some great advice for a young coach and we talked primarily about how to advance in the coaching field, here were his 3 take home points:
1.) Networking- As a young professional I have a good idea about the concept of networking and it's not always about WHAT you know, but WHO you know. This was clearly Coach Gwozdecky's main point. To get anywhere in this World you have to constantly reach out to others and get to know them and what they do. Once you have solidified a good network, use that network to your advantage, it can be one of your greatest assets.
2.) Practice- As coaches we should know practicing a task will give you more experience and hopefully make you better at that task. Therefore, if you want to become a better coach- coach. Get your butt off the couch, turn off the tv, drop the "Coaching For Dummies" book and go out an conduct a practice session. You will undoubtedly gain more from experience, than you will from reading any book, or listening to any speech.
3.) Player Development- Coach Gwozdecky told me his favorite part of being a collegiate coach was Graduation. When he sees one of the atheltes walk across the stage and receive their diploma they have finished a long and hard road of personal development both physically and mentally. This player development was also something he mentioned as the hardest part of being a collegiate coach. Athletes are multi-dimensional people and watching them develop within a sport context is great, but seeing them develop as people is a whole different dimension and often times hard for us as coaches to grasp. Respect this next dimension and help them get there.
Thanks for keeping updated the past three weeks to hear about all three mentors. Come back tomrrow for the Wednesday Review.