Your young and talented player is in a funk. He can’t seem to find the back of the net. In college, he led his team in goals scored, but as a rookie, he has not found the same success on the ice.
As a coach, you can understand. You, too, led your team in college but struggled early in your career. Of course, this young player doesn’t know that. Nor does he really care. That was years ago. He cares about scoring and helping his team.
You talk with your assistant coaches during practice. Your new player’s name barely comes up. Sure, his issues are a concern, but you’ve got a lot of other things to deal with. Your team is on a losing streak, you need to finalize your travel plans for the away game tomorrow, your spouse wants to know if you can pick up the kids from soccer practice tonight, and you have to meet with the captain of the team after practice as he apparently has some personal issues he is dealing with—what those are, you have no idea.
But the young player skates over and slows down as he nears you. He is not a shy person, but he isn’t in the best frame of mind due to his lack of scoring. The team knows it and the assistant coaches see it.
This player needs help. This player needs to talk. This player…he needs a leader. Is that you?
Image of the Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma was taken by the Michael Miller under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license