“I think culture is who we are, how we act on and off the ice, what our work habits are, how we treat each other, what kind of teammates we are, how the players and staff interact, I think that’s how culture is – who we are and how we act,” said Taylor. “The difference would be philosophy or playing style is the belief in how we should play, how we’re trying to play. How you work on that, in my opinion, is you build it into every single practice. Everything you do comes into how we play. We don’t do a certain drill because that’s not how we play.”
Taylor, a fan of Bill Belichick, tries to look outside of hockey when learning from different coaches on how they implement a culture and philosophy. He suggests that minor hockey coaches don’t try to copy what’s being done at the NHL or OHL level but instead focus on systematically adapting as players grow older and the changes that come with it.
“I think as minor hockey coaches, everything should be based on how can we best develop our players within our system of play. I think the easiest way to do that, I think it starts with getting out of your defensive zone quick but you want to do with possession… You see eight or ten year old teams trying to play the way the Leafs do. They should have as many touches, you want them to have a couple of 10, 15 foot passes. Everybody touches it, everybody’s coming up together. It should be encouraged to be that way. We want our young kids with as many touches and the puck on their stick as much as possible.”