USA Hockey Magazine

November 2018

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High-Level Coaches Encouraged To Get Players Involved In Their Own Development By Harry Thompson PHOTOS BY Credit Here OHN KESSEL may be no rela- tion to Phil and Amanda but he sure knows a thing or two about hockey. More precise- ly, he knows what works and what doesn't when it comes to training young hockey players. That may seem a little farfetched when you consider that Kessel's day job is as the director of sport development for USA Volleyball. But here he was on stage at the National Hockey Coaches Symposium in Lake Placid, N.Y., talking to coaches about taking a different approach when it comes to developing their players. And the biggest thing he's learned as a competitive athlete and coach is that you don't learn by watching. You learn by doing. "My kids watched me drive for 16 years. Did that make them good drivers? Not according to my insurance rates," Kessel said. "They got better at driving once they started doing it themselves. Only then did my rates go down." And that's why Kessel encourages coaches to just drop the puck and get out of the way. Techniques and tactics don't win hockey games, he said, people do. As the old saying goes, "let the game be the teacher." "It's simple hockey math," said Kessel, who spent a couple of seasons as a high school hockey coach in Colorado. "What happens when you have four kids and a J 32 // NOVEMBER 2018 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM Hockey Do hockey see PHOTOS BY Harry Thompson

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