Making Mistakes

By: Topher Scott


As coaches, we preach to our players all the time about the importance of learning from our mistakes.  As coaches, we have to walk the same walk and grow from ours as well.

Last week, I made a mistake in a tweet that I wrote regarding the video below…and I thought it would be cool to take you through what I learned and how I learned it.  First, here is the video of the tweet that I sent:

 

The tweet was about the importance of where to place the puck on a dump in, and I made a huge over-generalization.  Here is the tweet:

 

One of the biggest lessons from the video and subsequent message that I came to learn came from a highly respected coach, Tom Newton (National Champion Asst. Coach at Michigan State).  He responded with this message:

 

 

What great advice.  And I should have known better.  NEVER say “never” or “always” when discussing hockey as the game is too unpredictable with so many variances that’s impossible to say something will never or always happen.  Was interesting to see his story from his coaching days as well.

Furthering this sentiment, a well-known and respected analytics guy named Prashanth Iyer quote tweeted me with the following tweet:

 

 

Again, really good point.  Of all the years I’ve been playing and coaching, I actually can’t believe that I hadn’t heard of that before.  But it makes total sense.  I mean, how many goalies are actually good at playing the puck? I always thought of puck placement in terms of putting it in a place where you can beat the defender to the puck where you can get possession.  Dumping it to the goalie was the same as giving it to the other team, right?

Well, not really.  Prashanth had another great point that he tweeted out later as well:

 

 

And this is the crux of my mistake.  He’s totally right that we paint different topics far too broadly…and that’s what I did with this tweet.  But the beauty of social media (there actually is one!) is that I got called on my mistake and I’m able to learn from it.  From that sense, this whole thing ended up being a plus!

So thank you to everyone that comments on our social media postings.  Please don’t be afraid to disagree or ask to expand on things…it only helps to make us all better!

 

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