HOCKEY | By Alyson Duffy
I had the great pleasure of sitting down with the coaches of the Dartmouth High Girls Hockey Team. They offered great insight into the role of being a coach and positive guidance for team improvement. Kevin, Peter, and Mike are wonderful coaches who volunteer their time to coach the girls’ hockey team.
According to Peter, "The team is very inconsistent but when they decide to play the can really play." He has high hopes, however, and thinks the team has the ability to finish within the top 8 of the league. Are there specific improvements the team can make? "They need to work on consistency and for everyone to believe in our system. When they buy into our system we will become a stronger team with better chances to win. Our players also need to take more shots on net. We need those shots on net to increase our chances of scoring goals." I asked Peter what makes him come back each year to coach and he said "Getting to know the players and helping them improve as players."
Kevin, the head coach of the team, offered some good insight into coaching. He has been coaching for a number of years now and he first started because he was asked to coach an atom boy’s team. He loved coaching and decided to continue doing so. Has he learnt anything from coaching? "Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses. So you try to bring those strengths above the weaknesses." I asked Kevin what he loved most about coaching since he has been doing it for so long and he replied "I’d like to say it’s the girls who give me attitude. They're sassy, don’t listen to me, but it’s a challenge. It’s like raising my own daughters so it works out well."
My interview with Mike focused on the team and coaching and he was very helpful. Mike has been coaching the girl’s team for four years now. He started because Kevin asked him to help him out and he had so much fun he kept coming back. I asked him what he thought was the team’s strength and his answer was "Team spirit, great attitude. We have a great team spirit and the girls all get along which helps a lot. We also have great skating ability and we have been fortunate to have great numbers this year." Mike said he has learnt to be a better listener, thanks to coaching, and he also offered some great advice for upcoming coaches: "Coach to have fun, coach with no ulterior motive. Enjoy the moment, enjoy the team. It’s all about giving back to your community." I asked Mike what he enjoyed most about coaching and he jokingly replied "Well, there’s a young lady on defense and her name is Alyson Duffy. She just makes my day when I coach, what a wonderful young lady." In all seriousness, Mike enjoys the interaction with the players and getting to know each player.
These three coaches have given their spare time to coach us. Without them, the girls’ hockey team might not be able to play. As one of the players for the girls’ hockey team I can say that they are awesome individuals whom I have learnt a great deal from and feel lucky to know. They were kind enough to let me interview them and get the behind the scenes into coaching and how the team is doing.