John Russo

What did they do ... and where are they now

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

While I can’t include all of the hundreds of Minnesota high school players and coaches in this article, I’ve listed over 20 that you may remember and have some interest in where there are now. I looked at the player’s origins from both a high school and Elite League standpoint. The Elite League is where I saw many of them the most – and it was also their launch to college.

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Get ready, get set ... for next year

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

I want to spend my time in this column talking about planning and coaching for the first one-third of the season – for next year. Start prepping this summer and be ready to do a great job. I think the season truly has to be broken into three segments. The first third is for building more individual skills and working on basics. The middle third is for building team skills and continuing with individual skills. The last third is for more strategies and application of individual and team skills – more games, less basics.

Read more: Get ready, get set ... for next year

Top 10 important coaching priorities

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

For all coaches, maybe this top 10 of coaching priorities will help provide some focus. I had a hard time prioritizing the top five. They all seem pretty important. Actually, all 10 seem pretty important.

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Trying new things in practice

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

One of the things I am most proud of over the years of coaching is my willingness to create and try new things and new ideas. Creativity and innovation aren’t the only things that separate exceptional coaches from the pack, but they are near the top. I can truly say that every year I tried at least a few ideas that were leading edge – and they won a few or many games and helped to develop my players.

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The effort button: Where is it?

 

By John Russo
Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

 

The title of this article might lead you to believe that there is an easy way to get players to “put out.” While that isn’t true, it does relate to what some coaches call “taking a holiday.” There are many other names for the problem that coaches constantly are faced with: lack of intensity, poor pace, taking a shift or period or game off.

Read more: The effort button: Where is it?