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Claude Julien: Let Players Have Fun Before Teaching Systems

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Claude Julien is the head coach of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. He was formerly the head coach of the Boston Bruins from 2007-2017. He led the team to the 2011 Stanley Cup and before his departure in 2017 was the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL.

In this video, Julien focuses on growing the game by growing the player. To keep youth in hockey, coaches must keep it fun. Especially when a team is performing well, he suggests rewarding players with a fully fun practice session.

He suggests not teaching players systems until the latter stages of their development, dedicating the earlier stages to letting them "evolve" and "find their own way" up and down the ice. Experiencing their own success in developing stick-handling and other skills is likely enough to keep them in the game until they are ready to learn a coach's system.