WYC 004 Youth Hockey – Todd Grosse – Iron Sharpens Iron as One Man Sharpens Another

Todd Grosse pic

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Todd shares coaching stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth coach.

Todd Grosse is married and has 2 children: a 16 year-old son and a 13 year old daughter. Todd grew up in Michigan and played youth hockey at the highest levels, and still plays today. They now live in Franklin, Tennessee.

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Coaching/Leadership Quote

▪   ‘Iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another’ – Proverbs 27:17

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Coaching your own Kid

▪   You have to keep a balance between coach and Dad, and you have to be very honest with your son/daughter.

My ‘Cringe’ Moment

▪   Not being prepared for practice and being extremely organized

Coaching AH-HA Moment

▪   Using terminology that the kids understand and making everything simple

Teaching Children

1 – Have a plan

2 – Instill discipline, kids are starved for discipline

3 – Communicate the plan clearly and simply

Keeping it Fun

▪   HUGE IDEA #1: Small area games instead of full-scale scrimmages so you can teach while having fun

Best Stolen Idea

▪   To bring the kids in – create a game that if you are the last player to the huddle you have to take a lap – and the players self-enforce it

Coaching Resources

▪   USA Hockey – great coaching materials, classes

▪   Coach Nielsen’s hockey drills


▪   Putting kids in the penalty box for not listening is very effective

Reward, Recognition, and Teambuilding

▪   Team recognition instead of individual recognition; and recognizing assists more than goals

▪   HUGE IDEA #2: ‘The Bucket Hat’ – The kids nominate after each game who deserves to wear the hat during warm-ups for the next game

▪   Offseason gatherings and teambuilding activities – whitewater rafting, dinners

▪   For parents – have a great team mom/team manager

▪   If you have a difficult parent – give them a job!

Inspiring Story

▪   Teaching a child by showing him grace – Young man was supposed to sit out the next game for violating rule – but Todd only had him sit our first shift and the young man was so excited and appreciative that he turned around his behavior and attitude


▪   Winning should be one of the goals – but it’s a team goal and learning fundamentals will lead to improvement which often shows up in more wins

▪   Playing time can be determined by a player’s willingness to practice as hard as possible

 The One that Got Away

▪   They played a team that was above their level – and Todd regrets he told his team about how good the other team was, his team played intimated – he wishes he had just let them play

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

▪   Quote: ‘Iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another’ – Proverbs 27:17

▪   Book: ‘The Gold Standard’ by Coach K. – story of bringing together the Dream Team

Parting Advice

▪   Have a detailed practice plan!

▪   Keep a binder of great drills

Interview Links

▪   HUDL

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