I love the fall season – the cool days, brilliant colors, gliding into the holidays, and the resumption of hockey in earnest across the land. This is a great time of year.
While some hockey players skated through the summer, many did not as it can be mostly an off-ice training season. But with fall comes the resumption of league play and the return to the rinks – to practice and play hockey. This time also involves the re-establishment of team roles, coaching staffs, and new or continuing team managers. The work of getting organized and resuming competition is part of the fall ritual for hockey players, coaches, and families.
This is also a time for teams to establish their values and priorities. No matter what level of hockey, this is when to calibrate the character of teams and leagues. Now is the time to re-assert the importance of leadership responsibilities, both for individuals and their programs.
There is no greater performance dimension than leadership –
effective leadership will define your team’s success. Leadership is not optional.
While there will be assigned leadership roles, such as the team captains and coaches, there will also be the opportunity for everyone involved with a hockey team to provide everyday leadership – to positively influence events and behaviors to a desired outcome in the ongoing course of their lives. What might that look like? How does someone make a difference and strengthen the leadership capacity of their team?
Everyday leadership is realized when we do the following things:
Demonstrate good character and integrity – we’re honest with ourselves and others.
Hold ourselves, and each other, to high standards of play and conduct – talk the talk and walk the walk.
Be aware of how our actions may be perceived – perception matters.
Bring a strong commitment to our work as athletes and to each other – mutual commitment leads to collective achievement.
Be optimistic and think big – a positive attitude is a game changer.
Everyday leadership is everywhere – or it should be. Every player, coach, parent, and supporter can add leadership to their team’s season. The team will be better for it.
I love this time of year and all of its promise for hockey players and their teams, filled with everyday leaders who will redefine their achievements. This is a great time of year.