I’ve been involved in minor hockey for the past 4 years. I’ve watched from the stands, helped coach my son’s team for a few years and, last year, did the same for my middle daughter’s teams.
To say that I love the game would be an understatement. I still remember my time as a player – the early morning drives to the rink, the fun and laughter in the dressing room and the friendships I made during that time.
It has been so great to relive this experience through the eyes of my kids. My son has talent – I am biased, but others have confirmed. He loves the game and over the past year, I have seen him grow as a player.
He loves to be on the ice and loves the games, but he really enjoys the practices. Have you ever heard a kids say they loved going to practice. My son does – so much that we drive an hour into the cities 4 times a week for him to play the sport.
Why does he love the game so much? it’s simple, he has a great coach. In one of his local association games a while back – he was yelled at by his coach at the time for apparently playing out of position (I guess back checking is playing out of position) – and for a while I thought that moment would shape the rest of his hockey experience. This year that brief moment was erased from memory because of Coach Brian.
I can’t say enough about him. Coach Brian is a student of the game and loves to teach. The kids love to play and practice for him. Why? Because he cares for each of them and wants them to be successful and learn the game. We all know that with learning comes mistakes. Coach Brian may get frustrated, but the kids know that he believes in them.
My son has much to learn, but I know that when he is on the ice with Coach Brian he’s getting the best hockey education available. I witnessed that last night first hand during a clinic – without yelling or demeaning kids – Coach Brian and his staff worked kids through 90 minutes of stick-handling and skating drills. They work hard and when my son needed some help with a drill, Coach Brian never singled him out, but used to opportunity as a teaching moment. The outcome – kids listened and re-executed the drill with more confidence and with greater ease. All the time knowing that Coach Brian was committed to their success both on and off the ice.
My son loves Coach Brian and because of his time with him has become a better player and developed an even greater appreciation of the game. For that, I will always be grateful.
I applaud you Coach Brian and it’s an honor and privilege to call you friend.