This is a letter that Dean Holden sent this morning with suggestions for coach reading. Dean coaches at a Junior High School Hockey Canada Skills Academy, runs his own High School Sports Performance program, does coach development / evaluation for Hockey Alberta and private mentoring.
â€œI thought I would some of the book titles I am reading this month. There may be some possible Christmas gifts here!
"The Talent Code" by Daniel Coyle. "Talent is Overrated" by Geoff Colvin. Both are easy and enjoyable to read with some real-life examples that make you say â€˜wow.â€™ Pop culture meets science. Both books get you thinkingâ€¦
"Coaching Champions - Soccer Coaching in Italy" by Frank Dunne. It is an interesting coaching perspective with interviews with top age-group coaches from U11 to U21, in the Italian Azzurri club. There are some developmental / leadership lessons that can apply to hockey. It details how the best coaches in Italy run their club program. We should take the positives from their experiences and bring these back into our own programs.
"Whose Puck is it Anyway?" by Ed Arnold. Forward by Bob Gainey and Afterward by Steve Larmer. Should be a â€˜must readâ€™ for Minor Hockey coaches and those who care about the game. Real life chronicles from a minor hockey league season in Ontario.
"I'd Trade Him Again" by Peter Pocklington, Terry McConne and J'Lyn Nye. The history behind the decision that signalled the beginning of the dismantling of the Oilers core and ultimately helped enhance interest in hockey in California (and some say, the USA in general.)
"Leafs Abomination" by Dave Feschuk and Michael Grange and "Why the Leafs Suck" by Al Strachan. Both are timely titles for an Original Six franchise that has clearly lost its way. Reading between the lines, one can clearly see â€˜what NOT to doâ€™ and hopefully this advice can be put to use in a positive fashion. It remains to be seen if Brian Burke can turn things around.
'When the Lights Went Out" by Gare Joyce. An account of the 1987 Punch-up in Piestany. This one is more for pure enjoyment / hockey history. Timely as New Years means itâ€™s time yet again for the World Junior Championships!
I also highly recommend another of Joyceâ€™s books, "Future Greats and Heartbreaksâ€. One of my fascinations is with Talent ID and how can we do a better job of detecting it? It is the Billion Dollar Question! Here is one reader's comment on "Future Greatsâ€: The reader is â€œ... taken along in the Blue Jackets' war room for the 2006 NHL Draft and travels the junior hockey scouting world through the 2006-2007 NHL season. There are tons of interesting inside information, including a different view on Phil Kessel, the Russian prospects' situation and Akim Aliu."
"Think like a Champion" by Donald Trump, Meredith McIver and "Trump - the Way to the Top. The Best Business Advice I Ever Received" by Donald Trump. Any time you can gain insight into an entrepreneur like Trump, it is time well spent.
"Reallionaire" by Farrah Gray and Fran Harris. Truly an amazing story... a particularly good read if you need to be inspired. Gives you an appreciation for the ability of young kids to learn and understand; especially when they are motivated!
"Made to Stick - Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Good stuff. Turn the business angle into a coaching perspective for your players.
These books are best to get from a library (free) or order online through Indigo. It's way cheaper than buying them for full price from a Chapters store!
Finally, my highest recommendation goes to "Hockey Coaching ABC's: A program to develop the complete player" (BOOK 2) by Juhani Wahlsten and Tom Molloy. Tom gave me a copy a few years ago and I have read it cover-to-cover several times. It is the one book I consistently carry with me in my coaching bag. It has been highlighted, underlined and written in â€“ something I donâ€™t do in lesser tomes. This is the BEST hockey coaching book I have read to date. I consider it the modern Bible of hockey coaching; much like Anatolyi Tarasov considered â€œThe Hockey Handbookâ€ by Lloyd Percival (published in the 1951.)
â€œOriginally published in 1951, and rejected at the time by one NHL coach as â€œthe product of a three-year-old mind,â€ Lloyd Percivalâ€™s The Hockey Handbook went on to become an internationally recognized classic. Russian and European coaches seized on the book as the first authoritative, analytical treatment of hockey fundamentals and based their training regimes on the principles Percival described. The father of Russian hockey, Anatoli Tarasov, wrote to Percival: â€œYour wonderful book which introduced us to the mysteries of Canadian hockey, I have read like a schoolboy.â€ Now, nearly half a century later, The Hockey Handbook remains in a class by itself. It is the first book required by players or coaches at all levels of proficiency who are setting out to develop their own or their teamâ€™s hockey skills.â€
Although I am friends with Tom, he didn't ask me to PR his book; nor am I receiving any kickbacks from recommending his book. This is an unsolicited comment. I have read thousands of books since I started coaching in 1986 and I truly believe it is THAT good! In my opinion, the use of small area games help players discover the right decisions to make in game-like conditions (random situations and under pressure.) This is the absolute best way to allow the players to develop their hockey sense; as opposed to â€˜patterned drillsâ€™ which deny creativity and independent problem-solving. I have recommended to Hockey Alberta that this book should be part of the future curriculum manuals we hand out for our Development 1, Development 2 and High Performance 1 coaching courses.
Amazon has Book 1, but you want to order Book 2 directly from Tom as it has more information, drills and games than itâ€™s predecessor (it has a black spiral-bound cover, not red like BOOK 1). It can be ordered from Tom's website (which is also full of good info) at: http://hockeycoachingabcs.com.
Tom can be reached at email@example.com
As a close second recommendation to Tom's book, I also highly recommend Bruce Brown's work (he has a number of CD's / DVD's / coaching pamphlets and does public speaking). Bruce is a former coach and Athletic Director in the Pacific Northwest. Bruce is all about teaching life lessons through sport and in my mind, that's what it should be all about. I HIGHLY recommend this stuff. I bought a bunch of it. It is great to be able to listen to one of his CDâ€™s while you are driving. Bruceâ€™s site is located at http://www.proactivecoaching.info/
Enjoy your holidays.