Day 38 – The Importance of Your Body Language

This is the 38th day of our team’s virtual mid-season training camp. Each day, there will be a short assignment for you to do to continue your development. These assignments are mandatory for players and coaches. Parents are also encouraged to participate.

You may remember that in our pre-season training camp we talked about the importance of being coachable. It is always one of my most important goals for my teams.

I recently watched the following video by Coach Geno Auriemma. Coach Geno is the head coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team. He has led UConn to eleven NCAA Division I national championships. He was coach of the United States women’s national basketball team from 2009 through 2016, during which time his teams won the 2010 and 2014 World Championships, and gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, going undefeated in all four tournaments.

I’ve updated my post on “Coachability” here to reflect just how important your body language is.

Your body language is the best way to show that you are coachable.

The Most Coachable Team

We want people to watch us play and say…

“Wow! That is a well coached team!”

Being “well coached” has very little to do with the coach. It has everything to do with what the players are doing. A coachable team plays and practices together AS A TEAM. They execute the things they’ve learned and take pride in the sum of all the little things they do well. They’ve clearly worked hard to eliminate obvious bad habits.

Let me give you a few examples of some signs of a “well coached” team:

  • The players are all engaged and show enthusiastically positive body language.
  • They run a fast-paced and organized pre-game warm-up
  • They always seem to be skating at full speed
  • They take pride in strong positional play in all three zones
  • Players take short shifts
  • They forecheck in waves
  • They backcheck relentlessly
  • They make organized and efficient line changes
  • Players skate hard to the bench on line changes
  • They attempt to execute a plan on all face-offs
  • Forwards routinely cover for defensemen who join in the rush
  • Everyone maintains a positive attitude and good sportsmanship
  • They don’t take selfish penalties
  • They don’t engage in arguments or funny business after the whistle
  • They stop on lost pucks
  • They are ready to go on the ice at practice as soon as the ice is ready
  • They support each other

How To Be Coachable

  1. Continually work to show that you are engaged with an enthusiastically positive body language.
    If you really want to impress a coach, this is the best way to do it.
  1. Be open to new ideas and trying new things.
    Your coaches will challenge everyone involved with the team to always be open to new ideas and to take every opportunity to learn and improve.
  1. Strive to learn something new at every game and practice.
  1. Continually work to improve your listening skills.
    We can’t learn if we don’t listen. The better we listen, the faster we’ll learn. When someone is talking to you, be sure to look them in the eyes. Ask questions if you’re unsure about what you’ve heard.
  1. Be receptive to feedback.
    One things you’ll quickly learn about me is that I’m constantly correcting and encouraging players. Use feedback from your coaches as a mechanism to get better. Your coaches really, REALLY, want you to succeed.
  1. Don’t settle for “kind of” correct.
    We don’t reach an expert level of skill by doing things only partially right. Don’t tolerate yourself doing things only partially right, particularly when the skill is new or hard. When things are hard, keep practicing them until they get easier.
  1. Remember its okay to make mistakes.
    When you were first learning to skate, you fell down hundreds of times. You will make mistakes… and that’s okay. On-ice “mistakes” will be treated as learning opportunities – never punished. Players will be challenged to try new skills in game situations and to learn from their mistakes.
  1. Encourage, support and assist your teammates whenever you can.
    This is what a coachable team is all about.

Be Diligent In Your Preparation

“Come to the rink ready to learn and work hard.”

Coach Steve

Today’s Assignment:

For today…

  1. Complete today’s workout on the TeamBuildr app. Be sure to mark each exercise complete as you finish it.
  1. Think of one example of positive body language and one example of negative body language (Hint: there are some examples in the video). Post your answer to the team WhatsApp group.