The Communication Challenge:
Unclear messaging leads to communication breakdowns between minor hockey coaches & players. Consider this simple communication challenge for coaches and recreational hockey players. In your next discussion about the tactics or theory of hockey, count the number of sport specific terms you use. It may surprise to you recognize how many hockey specific words and phrases you use in the course of that conversation. When I listen to 2 mechanics talk about what’s wrong with my car, or 2 web developers discuss the details of the back end of my website, they might as well be speaking Greek (I don’t speak Greek). Your ability to speak the same language with your audience significantly increases the efficiency and effectiveness of your communication.
Let me try this sentence on you:
Unlock Your Communication Potential
“Get your feet up ice, your head on a swivel, keep your stick active, and jump to a hole when the weak side defenseman rims the puck to the winger on the half wall.”
To some of you this sentence makes complete sense. Congratulations! We’ve highlighted 7 key hockey specific phrases highlighted in bold. If you processed them all without second thought, then you have a high Hockey IQ. You likely understand nuances about the game quite well. If you repeat that sentence to your minor hockey players, or to adults new to hockey, many of these terms will simply confuse them. Your communication will seem lost in translation.
I have had plenty of hockey conversations with youth and rec adult players over the years. I often realize (perhaps too late) that one word or phrase I used completely threw them for a loop. Their eyes glaze over and yet I continue on with my description. If and when I catch myself do this, I have to go back, define each term I want to use and then continue. One of my own communication challenges in this setting, however, is to resist departing on 6 or 7 tangential explanations while trying to complete my thought. A tangential discussion or an overly wordy description is a very common communication deficiency in minor hockey coaches, and consequently an inefficient communication strategy. Moreover, it can lead to confusion and frustration for either the coach or player in the heat of the game.
Communication Lesson Sample: Defining Terms
Taken from Module 1.1 of our online coaching Course. We’ve created an effective & efficient solution to eliminate communication breakdowns.
Our Communication Breakdown Solution:
Learn the game’s nuances and languages to enrich your conversations and hence deepen your quality of teaching. Give your players and teammates a chance for success by giving them access to the information they seek. The video above is a sample of over 100+ video tutorials we have developed so that you, and your team, can speak the same great language through a membership to How to Play Hockey. It describes the areas of the ice, like a map describes a city. We explore the inside and outside of the ice, and what it means to be up ice, and down ice. Do I sound like a tour guide? Perfect. Sign up today and develop your complete game.Unlock Your Communication Potential