How to Deal With An Angry Hockey Coach The Right Way

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john tortorella made

Every player has dealt with a bonehead coach.

I certainly had one just before I made junior, and I also had some exceptional coaches when I was in junior.

There is a huge difference between playing under a guy whose coached in the NHL and a guy who coached a peewee team last year. At the end of the day though, an angry coach is one who probably just wants to help you or your son play better and just doesn’t know how to communicate that effectively…

“Today, I want to talk about an issue that every player is going to deal with whether he is bantam or midget or going on to junior, but especially in junior.

What do you do when you get into a slump and the coach is really riding you?

I’m going to let you know first off that I’m a hardcore guy. I didn’t mind getting yelled at by my coaches because I knew it was for a reason.

Very earlier on in my junior career I had a really good roommate, he was a veteran guy and he was the captain of our team. He basically told me, ‘Look, don’t take it personally. The coach isn’t really mad at you. He’s motivating you’, but at the same time don’t expect too much praise because coaches don’t want you to get too comfortable.

In fact, this roommate told me that as long as the coach isn’t yelling at you he’s probably happy with you. You should develop that kind of spirit within you that you know you’re doing well and you know you’re on your game. You don’t need to hear it from someone else to know that you’re doing well.

At the same time, if the coach is yelling at you, realize what he is doing is try shake you up emotionally. You know sometimes coaches will go back and forth between seeming kind of nice and seeming really hard, or sometimes they will just keep pounding and pounding you till you get out of the slump.


What they are trying to do is shake you up, put your head in a different place so that you perform differently. If you are in that slump, keeping working hard, keep showing that you’re determined. Don’t pout, don’t slouch and don’t get angry at the coach in a sulky type of way.

Maybe get angry and say I’m going to show that guy and really bring your game up. But realize what he’s doing is try to shake you out of where your mental state is at and get you to a higher place so that you can perform your best and help the team. Because, when the team does well, the coach does well and a happy coach, that keeps the team happy.

And I know if you’re a player and watching this, you probably had a coach that you love or maybe a bad coach that you hated and I’m sure you and your buddies and the boys felt the same way. If this video resignated with you at all, make sure you share it. Pass it around Facebook and Twitter; show some of the guys and sign up for subscription [or an American one] so that you can get more great videos like this. Until next time, I am Nick Olynyk for the Junior Hockey Truth.
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by Nick Olynyk (47 Posts)

Nick Olynyk is a junior hockey expert and author of the Junior Hockey Truth, a book series for parents of bantam and midget hockey players approaching junior hockey. To check out his book for bantam and midget hockey parents, go to: www.juniorhockeybook.com

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