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Coach's Corner

Jul 11, 2013, 4:35 am

Below is parts of an article I wrote a few years ago that I wanted to share with you as we begin a new era with the Muskegon Lumberjacks. This article will give you a sample of how i plan on using "Coach's Corner" and also some insight into my thought processes as we get to know each other.


I have had the pleasure and privilege of listening to Coach K (Duke Basketball Coach and winningest College Basket ball coach in NCAA history), in person, 2 times in the last few years. Coach K is a great storyteller and speaker. He provides inspiration and motivation like none other. It is no mistake, he is the best ever in College Basketball Coaching ranks. Within minutes of taking the platform, he had me laughing, crying, and fired up. I wrote notes down furiously as he spoke about his coaching methods and techniques. I refer to those notes and methods frequently as I continue on the coaching journey in Ice Hockey.

Just the other night, Coach K and Bobby Knight, were being interviewed about the impending breaking of the college coaching winning record by Coach K. As I’m sure you know, Bobby Knight previously held the record. What you may not know is that Bobby Knight was Coach K’s college basketball coach at USMA West Point. How wild is that? Is it a coincidence the now winningest coach played under the previous winningest coach? The 2 winningest coaches in college basketball history were together as player and coach and now share the ultimate coaching stage together as the 2 best ever? Is it a mistake? Just a coincidence?


I don’t think so or believe so. These 2 guys use “systems for success” like no other coaches. The interviewer asked Coach K what he learned from Bobby Knight that he carried with him and that contributed to his coaching success. Coach K responded with 2 statements: "Intense Preparation" and a "Passion to Win." Within these 2 statements lie the principles and the core values necessary for extra-ordinary success, Greatness. 

Intense Preparation encompasses a hard work ethic, dedication, commitment, perseverance, intelligence, time, and discipline. Passion to Win encompasses heart, willingness to compete, sacrifice, refusal to lose, and finding a way to get it done. These character traits and principles are universal traits that apply to all sports and professions not just basketball.

We have 3 quotes on the wall within the individual player locker confines that perfectly describe the character and experience of Championship TEAMS: “Good is the Enemy of Great.“ “Hunger Not for Success, but Excellence.” “The Success and Glory of One, witnessed by all, is achieved through the Hard Work, Discipline, and Sweat seen by very few.”


A Championship TEAM did not accept being Good. A Championship TEAM prepared intently and intensely throughout the season with the highest goal in mind: Greatness. A Championship TEAM understood the pursuit of excellence not success would allow attention to detail, improvement, and the necessary process for the desired results. A Championship TEAM worked, and sweat, and maintained a physical, mental, and emotional discipline seen by very few but witnessed by all through the Success and Glory of the TEAM. 


Most teams are full of coulda, shoulda, woulda’s. Regrets and excuses are not only tolerated but accepted. 


Our 2013-2014 Muskegon Lumberjacks TEAM have choices to make. These choices all center on our willingness to Compete and our commitment to our 5 TEAM Core Values: TEAM (Together Everyone Accomplishes More), Hard Work, Sportsmanship (Class & Discipline), Results, and Education. Intense Preparation will be forced upon the TEAM by the coaches. Passion for winning is implicit through the Intense Preparation. One does not intensely prepare to lose or fail. However, will the TEAM and each individual work hard, compete, and play together as a TEAM? If they do, the Results will follow.


Our Goal this season is to win the "Clark Cup": The USHL Championship! Our Plan and focus is to "Win the Next Game." We will pursue excellence, not settle for being good, prepare intently and intensely, not tolerate excuses or regrets, and compete with passion and pride. Our focus will be on processes for improvement minute after minute, day after day, month after month, practice after practice, period after period, and game after game!! We know great processes and preparation yields great results.


As we begin this season's hockey journey together, let us never mistake activity for achievement and let us always remember to pursue Excellence every minute of every day!!


Coach Krygier