Katey Stone: Introducing Talented Freshmen To A Team
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PCA National Advisory Board Member Katey Stone (@kbstone9) is one of the most successful coaches in the history of Division 1 Women’s Ice Hockey. As head coach of the Harvard Crimson for the past 18 seasons, she has accumulated 378 victories and has led the team to several NCAA Championship appearances. She also coached the U.S. Women's Ice Hockey team to a Silver Medal in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Stone explains how introducing a talented freshman to a team can be complicated. If the coach establishes a culture where opportunities are earned and not given, this can make the situation easier. Freshmen will understand that each player must work hard no matter the talent level, and they will not carry the attitude that they are more important than other players.
Plus, this approach makes it is easier for upperclassmen to believe in the continued fairness of the program. The older players may not like that a freshman is more talented and gets more playing time but it is easier for them to understand this decision if they know hard work is still valued on the team.