Sequencing: Your Hack for Rapid Improvement

This article is about how I got 400% better at golf in 2 hours.

It’s also about “sequencing”, and why sequencing can hack your learning rate.

In previous articles, I’ve already outlined that the most important variable for success is your RATE of improvement, and that the best coaches give feedback on HOW, not just WHAT. Sequencing is a powerful tool to increase your RATE of your improvement, and also for coaches who are concerned with coaching the “how”.

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Play 1on1’s like an NHL Defenseman – Gap Control

I want to write this article for players at about the Bantam and Midget level who want to improve their defensive 1on1 play off of rushes. I have noticed that players at this level struggle with setting and reducing their gap against forwards effectively. Not being far removed from Bantam and Midget myself, I remember well the learning steps I have gone through recently, specifically watching and learning from NHL defensemen that I’ve had the opportunity to skate with.

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Hacking Tryouts – Experimenting with advanced statistics

Tryout camps are a time of tumultuous emotion, upset parents, scorned players, stressed out coaches, and political agendas. When I took part in the minor hockey and junior tryout camps, I was sort of blind to all the calamity around me. When I began attending tryout camps from the perspective of strength and conditioning/skills coach, I took on a whole new perspective. I sort of took on the perspective of the anxious parent who wants his kid (in my case, athletes I train), to do well. I also took the perspective of the coach trying to sort out who was deserving of a spot and who wasn’t. This journey was further animated by the (wide) range of perspectives of every different parent.

Most parents of players who were cut, thought that their kid was not given a fair shake. I sometimes agreed, and other times disagreed. Since parents were so biased in watching their kids play, I wondered, though, exactly how much of my bias was distorting my perception of players’ performance. The next logical question was: how much of the coach’s bias distorted his views? In order to answer this, I wanted to evaluate some sort of objective data that might track a player’s performance in the tryout camp and possibly predict their future performance on the team. So that’s what I did…

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Hard Work? Or Focused Intensity?

I absolutely hate vague, non-descriptive, ambiguous phrases in hockey (or in life). None more so than “work harder!”.

I’m a few weeks away from coaching a midget team for a spring tournament, so this post outlines how I plan on approaching the common desire of coaches to tell their team to “work harder”.

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10,000 Hours – What you probably don’t know

I’ve been making the distinction between deliberate practice and just practice. Deep work and shallow work.

10,000 hours can be deceptive, if you think that all you need to do is practice or try something for 10,000 hours. When Eriksson did his study, his estimate of what made greatness was 10,000 hours of DELIBERATE practice. Deliberate practice is full engagement, the brain is struggling and completely focused on its task. The attention of the brain cannot be diverted elsewhere because it is so engaged in the task at hand.

Deliberate practice is synonymous with “deep work”. For example, shallow work is answering emails and texts, arranging documents, checking Facebook, etc.. Deep work is value producing work.

Continue reading 10,000 Hours – What you probably don’t know

Patrick Kane and Darryl Belfry

Patrick Kane and Darryl Belfry

I’ve mentioned Darryl Belfry before on my blog, mostly because I look up to him in terms of his approach to coaching. A friend of mine recently sent me this article as a corollary to my “Coaching: Cause vs Effect” article. His comment was that the coach of the future will focus more on analytics than on outcome. I couldn’t agree more. 

Tactics and Tarasov Numbers

Anatoli Tarasov was the father of Russian hockey. He took Russia from a country that had never seen nor heard of hockey in 1948, and turned them into an international powerhouse in 1952 for, oh 30ish years. What did he do that’s successful? Why?