Well, it’s about that time of week again — when I briefly cover a bunch of subjects, or what I’ve come to call “Short Shifts“…
In case you didn’t get those symbols up above — as in 😦 and :), the end of any hockey season tends to make me feel both sad and excited.
Ya, I’m always a little sad to see a group of kids go (well, at least some of them). I guess I should add in there that I’m kind of hard on myself (and gladly so), so I feel some disappointment if certain players didn’t achieve all I thought they could. As much as I put that stuff on my own head, though, I know in my heart that a handful of kids didn’t progress well because they either missed a ton of practices, or they didn’t come with a full suitcase full of commitment. On the other side of the spectrum, a number of my HS Prep players had big-time impacts on their high school teams, and there are a couple of junior high school kids who are going to move right onto our HS Prep team without skipping a beat.
The latter, of course, is one reason I’m excited at this time of year. However, I’m as juiced right now with the thoughts of a new hockey season on the horizon. Ya, the time is fast approaching when I’ll hunker into my proverbial bunker, and start researching new training ideas, new systems play, and new drills. (In a week or so, I’ll try to give you a little more insight into my so-called “bunker”.)
Funny — or perhaps not so funny — that I mentioned in a recent post about all the years I’ve written for “Hockey/USA” magazine. Well, don’t you know, the last issue arrived in my mailbox last Friday, and it truly was “the last” issue. I mean, right on the cover it said in bold type, “This is the final issue of Hockey/USA”. (What the… ?)
Speaking to the publisher a little later, Eric Shulman explained to me that it was just getting too costly to run the mag. These are tough times for hardcopy publications, for sure, evidenced by the number of newspapers and other magazines that have gone out of business over the past few years. I know the economy hasn’t helped, with advertisers cutting back on their budgets. And, the cost of producing such publications — and mailing them — isn’t dropping any.
But, am I sad? Ya, you bet. Even though it was quite a challenge coming up with ideas for a new column every other week, writing and communicating with hockey folks is what I was born to do (at least in my humble opinion).
Was it good for my business and visibility? Very much so, which brings me to a cute or dumb little story (you be the judge)…
A kzillion or so years ago, I was down in Orlando, FL, doing a tour of Disney World with my family. You probably know the routine — weaving our way through those stupid lines like cattle.
Anyway, at one point — I guess when all the meaningful conversation topics had been exhausted, I kinda muttered out loud, “Gee, it’s funny I haven’t yet bumped into any hockey people I know.” With that, my wife replied (with one of the nicest things she’s ever said), “You’re really obnoxious, you know.”
Okay, obnoxious guy that I am, I took the next idiot Disney turn and glimpsed a pair of teenagers waving at me. 🙂 They were hockey playing brothers I’d coached for a very long time at a nearby rink back home.
The fun wasn’t done yet, however… Later in the day we were biding our time in another line, when my wife turns to me and says, “This lady tells me her husband reads your Hockey/USA column all the time!” (Oh, surprise, surprise!)
Okay, I’m back down off my high horse (actually I wasn’t really telling that story to brag)… I do know that writing that column for so many years did help me connected with people from all across both the US and Canada. I’d get some great comments and questions from folks north of the border, and one guy from New York City actually became a really good friend (God, he’d even call my office once per week years ago, and he’d ask me to write on a topic that had been bothering him lately).
Oh, and I every once in awhile claim that “higher ups” tend to keep tabs on the old coach, too… Oh, boy… A few years back I spoke at an advanced hockey symposium that was like a gathering of Who’s Who in Hockey. And, during a break, I was introduced to a high official with USA Hockey (from out in Colorado Springs). I sorta sheepishly said something to the effect that I frequently find myself bashing his organization, to which he smiled and answered, “I know, I read your columns all the time!” (Gulp!) Actually, he was a really nice guy, and he seemed to take my needling good naturedly.
By the way, if you’re a hockey player, coach or parent, you might be interested in a free video series I’m offering as kind of a guide to training during the coming off-season months. Again, it’s free. So, just click on this link to receive your 7-part series: “You Don’t Need Ice!“
Now it’s time to profile another one of my favorite bloggers (and you can find my other blogging friends right off to the right in the side bar =>).
Actually, I’m indebted to Mike Mahony for a number of reasons.
He’s a hockey dad (of a teenage goalie) out in Southern California, so we have the love of that sport in common. And, you can catch Mike and I often tweeting back and forth over on Twitter or on Facebook.
And, while I might occasionally help Mike with some hockey advice, he’s MORE than repaid me, numerous times calling me in off a ledge when I’ve been stuck with a techie type problem. (Ya, friends over in Twitterland know what’s going on with me if I just mention being on “suicide watch”!)
As for Mike’s blog, it’s called Fitness Expose. And, I can totally appreciate the theme of his site. I mean, among the many things we’re inundated with these days is advice on how to become healthier, more fit, whatever. And, besides there being enough information out there to make your head spin, an awful lot of so-called health or fitness gurus are willing to take your wallet and your first born in exchange for their advice. That in mind, Mike attempts to cut through all the garbage, or to simplify things for us regular folk.
Actually, Mike also has a related video blog called “The Muscle Building Fat Burning Video Blog “, whereby he chronicles (via videos) his own attempts at running, working with weights and so much more.
All that said, you owe it to yourself to stop over at Mike’s main blog, Fitness Expose. From there you can find links to his video blog, and to his Twitter and Facebook pages. And, if you get a chance, tell Mike that Old Coach Chic sent you.
Oops, almost forgot that it’s time to highlight one of those unique and hard-to-find products available in the CoachChic.com Store…
Now, I am planning on soon trying to put a package together to help other coaches be able to do some of the things I manage to do over on my website. And, one of the things I’ll recommend is a product that will spare them from spending the thousands of dollars that went into my audio/visual studio. I’m talking about an inexpensive (but awesome) on-line service called PowerChalk. And, I’m talking about a program that makes it possible for a coach (or parent) to EASILY do split screen comparisons, draw on the screen, do slo-mo and stop-action, put your voice-over on the video, and so much more. So, if you want to discover a little more, just click on the logo below…
Well, that’s it for this week. I have a ton of projects I’m into, and I’m sure to be telling you more about those within a few days. (And, hey, don’t forget to sign-up for that free video series. That’s an order — :)!)