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Introducing February's Coach of the Month

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 02/27/20, 10:00AM EST


Coach of the Month presented by The Coaches Site

This season marks the third year of the OMHA Coach of the Month presented by The Coaches Site. We asked for nominations of deserving coaches and after much deliberation, Rob Guthrie of the Windsor Minor Atom AE team was selected as the Coach of the Month for February.

Here's his story as told by his nomination:

Rob most definitely deserves to be recognized for the enthusiasm, positive environment, dedication, determination, he puts forth and brings to his team on a daily basis. Not to mention the relationships he has established off the rink with each player. Before every game he makes sure each player is recognized for something great he did the game before, whether it was a good play, a goal, being a good team mate etc. He sets the mood for this team on such a positive note and this team is flourishing because of him.

He has such a passion for the sport and makes sure every team member knows how important their role on the team is... he also allows constructive criticism when needed but also sits with the player and goes over the play and what could be done differently moving forward... he makes sure they know this is how they learn... by making mistakes and it's not always a bad thing and to take these lessons in daily life even off the ice... his motto is 'it's not a mistake if we learn from it.'

I couldn't ask for a better role model for my son. On and off the ice these kids look up to him, and he wholeheartedly enjoys coaching and watching each player develop... he takes such pride in it!

Coach Rob grew up playing Windsor Minor Hockey all the way through to Midget in both recreational and representative. He was an assistant coach with a family friend for a few seasons after playing. When he had kids and they started to play he was involved from the beginning and has been an assistant and a head coach with his older son. He loves to see the kids grow and develop and build life long friendships.

Why is it important for you to recognize the good things that your players do?

Recognizing the good things players do is very important to keep the confidence in the kids and the excitement in their faces when you do tell that they did a certain drill or play correct. Good, positive feedback only helps the coaching staff's jobs easier but makes for a fun environment on the team.

How do players respond to your feedback? Is this something you think is important for coaches to do?

A team consists of many different personalities and every kid responds differently. Positive feedback is easier to give and receive then constructive criticism that being said myself as a coach is always trying to learn on how to give that feedback to the kids. It is very important on how we as coaches come across to the kids in any situation. Confidence in a kids ability is huge and if that confidence gets broken it takes a while to get it back.

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Do you think coaches serve as role models for young players?

Yes, I think coaches are huge role models to young players. You hear it all the time at NHL level with players on coaches impact on their lives not only in hockey but everyday life. As coaches we need to realize on the actions and things said in the heat of the game can have an affect on kids during the game. 

How do you hope to build a love of the game in your players?

Players that are playing the game have some kind of passion already for it, it's trying to keep that passion growing throughout the season and beyond minor hockey. You need to challenge your players to a point where they are not being deflated but challenging themselves so they can see improvement in their skills and ability to do the skills being taught. Letting them know that falling down is not a failure but an opportunity on where they need to improve to get better as a player and a person, all while trying to keep it fun.

Submit Your Coach of the Month Nomination

Please note that all previous submissions are still eligible for upcoming Coach of the Month awards and do not need to be resubmitted.

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