Posted by Greg Carter
With the start of the hockey season upon us, it’s important to stop and think about your goals for this winter, and one of the first questions you should ask yourself is if you are a coachable player.
What is a ‘coachable player’? A few characteristics of coachable hockey players include:
- Respecting your hockey coach and his/her ability to make you a better hockey player.
- Accepting that there is always room for improvement and growth.
- Acknowledgement that constructive criticism is part of hockey development.
- A willingness and accountability to apply what is learned.
- A burning desire to work hard and become a better hockey player!
In our many years of coaching and running hockey clinics and summer hockey schools, we have seen many hockey players who have great skills, but they simply aren’t coachable. This can be due to parent influence, ego, a lack of respect for the coach or inability to accept criticism. Regardless of the reason, a player will have a difficult time achieving their full potential if they are not coachable.
Perhaps one of the most important ingredients in being coachable is simply having a great attitude and approach to the game. Players who come to the rink eager and willing to learn at practice are going to listen to coaches rather than rolling their eyes at them. These players are going to think about the areas of their game that needs improvement rather than brushing it off as a coach picking on them. These players are the ones who leave practice excited and feeling like they improved on a skill, rather than dwelling on the fact they aren’t perfect.
Coachable players tend to develop their skills and knowledge of the game and an accelerated pace. They also tend to be those who the coaches like to work with, because the coaches can see the improvement, and find satisfaction in helping a player take their game to the next level.
Really good coaches thrive on feeding the hunger of coachable players. Good coaches will recognize and appreciate your desire to improve, and a positive coach/player relationship will most often result in the coach doing everything they can to help you achieve your goals.
So before the season really gets going, take a minute and ask yourself: Am I a coachable hockey player?