In today’s game, it seems as though young players are increasingly treated like tiny professionals. Go to an atom practice and it’s not unusual to see coaches instructing their players on the finer details of complex systems that they’ve picked up watching NHL games. Sprinkle in a little video technology and now you’ve got a team of robots.
While learning the finer details of the game is important at all levels, it’s also important that players be allowed to be creative and play with their natural instincts. Mistakes are bound to happen no matter how much you over-coach, so they might as well be made by players trying to push their limits rather than trying to play within the confines of a system.
“Let them play with their instincts. The best thing you can do is instruct but let the players play with their instincts” - Glen Gulutzan
In this video captured at the 2014 TeamSnap Hockey Coaches Conference, current Calgary Flames Head Coach (at the time an Assistant Coach with the Canucks) Glen Gulutzan stressed the importance of giving players permission to play with their instincts.
Great advice and reminder that even in the best league in the world, players will flourish when the their coach trusts them to play with a certain degree of freedom.Back to Top
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