Half of you should just quit!

It all started at my twentieth college reunion. I was speaking to one of my old teammates and his wife.  His son was captain of a state championship high school team in Minnesota, and I wondered what his son’s next move would be. I told him about the struggles with my 0-10 high school team and that my wife, Shelly, was starting to skate and play some hockey with the Divas. “Yea, my wife has tried some hockey too. They asked me to coach. So I went to a practice. There were like 30 women there – some hockey moms just starting.  I tried to coach that one time. After the practice I went in the room and told them, “half of you should just quit!” We all laughed. It was a funny story from someone known for his sense of humor, and he probably embellished it. But those words would haunt me.

A couple of years after the reunion I got the nod. Shelly asked (she says I begged her to help), “Can you come to one of our practices? No one knows what to do. Just show us a few things that we can work on before we scrimmage.” The adult women’s recreation team called themselves The Divas. They had several coaches. Their current coach was causing too many cat fights between players. Another coach was too boring. He ran old school drills. One worked two weeks on and two weeks off on the North Slope for an oil company, and he was out of town. It seemed that coaching a bunch of fun adult and middle aged women was a popular job.

I came out and ran a few drills, gave some advice, then I dropped pucks, blew the whistle, and offered a few suggestions during their pick-up scrimmage at the end of practice. My head was swimming. What do you do with that!? There were twenty or more players at all levels: learn to skate, competent but reserved, players who didn’t know the rules, and experienced players. The only thing they have in common is they are all having fun. Fun on the bench, fun in the locker room, fun on the ice. They were supportive of the worst players and cheered whenever someone made a good play no matter how minor. Something was happening here.

“Half of you should probably just quit.” I related this to the Divas as we have discussed the path to skill development. I struggled with the question: really, why don’t they just quit when seeing how slow skill development can be? Sports experts (Dan Coyle) say you need ten years or 10,000 hours of practice to accomplish these types of skills. If as Dan Coyle says the body builds mylin as an adult slower than as a child then how am I going to help these 25-55 year old women get any results?

This website is a clearing house for the tools I am using and developing to do just that. Please make the most of the resources here and be in touch to let us know what you are up to and how we can help.