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The Power of Positive Coaching

coaching communication defeat myths hockey Jun 29, 2023

What's something you use every day that can't be trusted? Stairs. They’re always up to something.

Welcome to Mental Fitness Fridays. I’m Hans.

An article by Emily Kaplan of ESPN caught my eye: "The Power of Positive Coaching and its Impact on the Stanley Cup Playoffs"

She interviews Panthers head coach Paul Maurice — and he shares his changed approach.

I’ll focus on the most important parts this week. The approach incorporates mental fitness. I noticed that he stepped back and looked for a better approach to video, which led to other questions. He got curious and wondered if more positive clips would improve performance. His take? It did.

We often view positive coaching like stairs — up to something.  We fear it lacks accountability, a valid concern. I’ve seen why players don't trust it. The box of chocolate coaches — you never know what you are going to get. I’ve seen it in and outside of sports, and recently in a place where I least expected it.

Maurice also admits he may have been too easy on guys he liked and too hard on ones he didn't. It happens — even in the pros. 

Change is here. The sell before date on cold war coaching will be here soon.  

My teachers, parents, and coaches used cold war coaching. The mental toughness myths thrive in a cold war mindset. You are the most present and consequently your most influential coach. You can be demanding without demeaning. You can be accountable without being an asshole.

Here are some questions for you.

In what ways are you demanding and demeaning of yourself? What do you need to do to change that? It's possible. In what ways are you an ass when holding yourself accountable? What do you need to do to change that? If you don't think you do, then you are saying the laws of being human do not apply to you.

Here's the best part of the article. Maurice still thinks back to his tape study but isn't ready to draw any grand conclusions.

"I don't know if there's a solid theory for every team," Maurice said. "Every team is different; every player is different. The most important thing is to understand the human nature aspect of it all."

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