The CGHL has been blessed with GREAT coaches who value not only winning,
but the opportunities to develop positive character traits for success with hockey and beyond.
“The greatest coaches Teach, Inspire, Encourage, and Challenge players
to believe and achieve more than they think they can”
• Great Coaches view hockey as a vehicle to teach life lessons
Great coaches value teaching life skills as well as hockey skills. Win, lose, or draw, great coaches
understand “Winning is important, but seizing opportunities to practice and learn life skills is even
more important.” They understand children rely heavily on adult feedback and take care to offer
positive feedback. They demonstrate great understanding of Age Group appropriate development
paths and value effort over results. They understand success has much more to do with players’
personal bests than final scores. Best coaches demonstrate respect for players, parents, officials and
• Great Coaches keep learning
Great coaches keep learning to improve their coaching effectiveness. They are passionate about
hockey and helping athletes realize their potential. Great coaches are creative thinkers,
enthusiastic and passionate about developing and improving every player on the team. They listen
to people, are approachable, reflect on their own performance and seek ways to improve.
• Great Coaches are great teachers
Great Coaches are excellent teachers. They take pride in being prepared, organized and ready to go
(before they enter the rink). Great coaches prepare and demonstrate logical, well planned skills
progressions and drills. They understand that “a silent coach, is no coach” and offer appropriate
feedback, but they also understand when to keep quiet and give athletes time and space to work it
out. Great coaches ask players questions to promote internalization of skills and concepts. They
develop psychological as well as physical skills (e.g. coping skills when nervous, feeling performance
pressure, frustrated, disappointed. They also recognize and help players develop resilience,
kindness, fairness, appreciation for teammates, a positive mindset, self confidence and self
• Great Coaches cultivate a healthy team culture
Great coaches cultivate a positive team culture. They help athletes understand it is much more
important to ‘try’ new skills than avoid mistakes. They inspire and drive team forward. Great
coaches love to see players grow and improve hockey and life skills. They’re competitive and try to
win, but demonstrate a great ability to keep it all in perspective and enjoy the team’s journey
together. They understand how to keep athletes motivated and are constantly learning and
adjusting to meet their team’s and players’ challenges and needs.
• Great Coaches value every player on the team regardless of skill
Great coaches are inclusive, supportive and believe in every player on the team regardless of skill.
They understand players’ individual differences. They get to know their players and understand
how to keep players motivated. They facilitate setting goals for individual players and team.
Great coaches understand Age Group / developmental paths. They care. Great coaches support
and yet challenge players to grow accustomed to feeling uncomfortable as players push
themselves towards excellence.