Over the course of the four-day Level 5 Coaches Symposium, there were more great lessons and words of wisdom for any person to count. Between Stanley Cup-winning coaches, Olympians and beyond, the knowledge and expertise brought to the table was nothing short of remarkable.
Below is our best attempt at narrowing it down to some of the top quotes from the weekend.
USA Hockey National Coach-in-Chief
“You don’t have player development in this country without coach development."
"Being here, you're committed to making the game better. So thank you for that. You have each made sacrifices to be here to help make our game better, and we are thankful for that."
Rochester Americans head coach
“The rink should be the most fun place that we go every day. We play the game because we love it. We coach the game because we love it. We need to create that fun, passionate environment."
Director of Sled National Teams, USA Hockey
“When you make mistakes, it's okay. It's what you do after that matters."
St. Thomas Women's Assistant Coach
“The players are the ones ultimately playing, so as coaches we have to recognize that. It’s bigger than just the game. We give them the tools and help them day-to-day, but as coaches, we have to let go a little bit. The players are in the driving seat and we are a part of that process.”
"If you can hold players accountable, you're going to help get the best out of them. It's a challenge as a coach, but it's so important for competing."
USA Hockey president
"To all of the coaches here this weekend, your commitment to the development of the game and your own personal development is truly something to be commended. I know players across the country are in good hands."
USA Hockey executive director
“I want to thank all of you for being here and helping get our game back to where we want it to be. What you do in your communities and at your rinks is so important, so for you to be here is very important."
"We have 37 states represented here, which is fantastic. The impact that is going back across the country after this event is spectacular and truly special and significant."
Minnesota State Mankato head coach
“What you're doing now for coaches in the state of Minnesota is all a part of Herb Brook's vision."
Bemidji State head coach
"If you want to maintain a culture, you have to have buy-in from your team. You need great leaders and need to rely on them."
Bemidji State professor, former assistant coach
"Girls hockey has come such a long way. Just seeing how girls hockey has changed from when I was playing and now seeing the growth in coaching as well has been huge."
Minnesota Duluth assistant coach
“It's speed, it's strength, it's skill, the goaltending has gotten so much better. It's been great to see the growth of the [women's] game over the past decade."
Director of coaching education program, USA Hockey
“You impact players big time. I hope you don't take that task lightly. The things that you say and do have a huge impact."
"We can talk about X's and O's all day, but at the end of the day, it's about development. If we don't develop our players, we can't do all of those other things."
Nashville Predators head coach
“Brotherhood is about playing FOR each other, not WITH each other."
"Creating a good culture on and off the ice is important. That translates to development."
NTDP head coach
“Using your opportunity to come here and grow and help impact kids is something that should be commended."
NTDP head coach
“You can't be afraid as coaches to create some chaos in practice. Make purposeful chaos. Hockey is a chaotic game, so adding some chaos in practice can help."
Pittsburgh Penguins skills and development coach
“You all have very good drills. How do we implement these drills to help with our skill development that will help translate to the game? The training environment must resemble the game environment."