In A Devilish Mood: Let me take a moment to reflect on our 2017-18 season
As I enter into my second year as hockey director for DYHA, I find myself reflecting on my experiences of the last year and thinking about what I learned, what I enjoyed, and what are the not-so-enjoyable aspects to the job.
I was fortunate enough to be stepping into a program that was not in turmoil, facing bankruptcy, or just in overall disarray. The previous director, Sean Whyte, with great support from the Board of Directors, has put the DYHA program in a very good position, running smoothly and not in any need of major changes. I figured I would just come in, learn the various systems in place, keep the ship running, and add some of my own flavor.
This would be a piece of cake!
Well, a piece of cake it was not!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the job was too hard or over my head, but the overall amount of work and number of tasks that need to be overseen and completed is quite large. I came on board right before tryouts last year and my goal was to keep things running smoothly and have the organization not experience any setbacks.
With advice from Sean Whyte, direction from the Board, and assistance from my right hand, Jacque Gomez, we managed to get through the season with no major hiccups. I know that some would say that DYHA had one of their best years ever! Winning all three Tier II state titles, the season was AWESOME!
Well, championships are nice, but they don’t define a successful hockey program in my mind. A lot of things have to go right, and the stars need to align in order to win one championship, let alone three, and truth be told, the ingredients for those championships were in place long before I stepped into the building.
I am also not naive enough to think, or expect that that will happen every year, because it won’t.
It is easy to sit back and say, “If I were running that organization, I would do this or do that,” but actually running an organization and just doing this or that takes a lot of cooperation, communication, and organization.
You cannot do this job alone and you have to rely a lot on some incredible people who love the organization and volunteer their time to help you get done what needs to be done. DYHA has an abundance of such people and because of that, the future continues to look bright here. The fact that it is a lot of work is a good thing in my mind. I love the game of hockey and when you love what you’re doing, it is hard to call it “work.”
As for things I enjoyed, I enjoyed coaching the kids and interacting with the parents. I enjoyed working with our coaching staff. I enjoyed trying to improve things that I thought could use improvement. Some things worked, some did not. The one thing I can say is that we are going to keep trying to get better as an organization and learn from our experiences. There are a number of good organizations in the Valley and all of our goals are the same, and that is to be the best and to provide the best.
Therefore, in my mind, status quo is not good enough.
We will most likely make a few mistakes in the process. As I tell my players, mistakes are not bad as long as they are hard-working mistakes and that we learn from our mistakes.
As for what I did not enjoy, well, I enjoyed it all. Yes, there were some unpleasant times and some tasks that are less than enjoyable, but they are part of the territory and are all treated as learning experiences.
What I learned from the less-than-enjoyable tasks? Well, that they can be delegated. After all, I am the hockey director.
Brad McCaughey is the hockey director and coach-in-chief for DYHA.
(Oct. 4, 2018)