Hockey has always been a major part of my life, and I would love nothing more than to make a career out of it. Although my dream was always to play in the National Hockey League (NHL), as I am getting older the chances of that happening are very slim. However, like most professional sports, there are a variety of careers available outside of being an athlete. My dream job is to be an NHL Head Coach or a General Manager. A head coach has the responsibility of making sure that his strategies are suitable for the players on his team. He decides which players get the most ice-time, which players are playing in the game and the strategies used within the game. A general manager has the role of trading and paying the players. Additionally, he is the one who makes the contracts for the players, drafts players, and makes trades to best fit the team.
Being given the opportunity at one of these two careers would give me the chance to work with the best players in the world for a sport I grew up playing. Therefore, I do not have a particular team in the NHL that I would primarily like to work for, I would consider myself lucky to be a part of any team.
These five operative goals would be a must for me if I were to work in this field
- Rehabilitation programs/mentors – This is a must for me because many individuals who play at the professional level have died based on drug overdose or depression (Rick Rypien 08/15/2011, Derek Boogaard 06/13/2011, Mike Richards 09/24/2015). I would want all of my players to feel safe, be happy, and have the resources to help if they are ever feeling these symptoms.
- Approachable Leaders – All of the people above the players in the organization I work for must be approachable. If any of the players or staff members feels hesitation when asking questions or voicing opinions then evaluation and action on the work environment and staff will be taken very seriously.
- Positive and Happy Attitude – All of the coaching staff will be upbeat, and positive at all times. The Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll used this approach in 2015 when they won the Superbowl. He would never yell at his players, and would always try to find a positive in everything. This is something I have admired and would want to mimic. This makes the players’ time at the rink much more enjoyable.
- Community Engagement – I know a few players who play in the NHL and they sometimes have a hard time going out into public without getting harassed or stopped by the public. Because they are such icons and role models, this can make it tough for them to enjoy everyday activities. I think this stems from the fans only seeing players at the games on the ice. I believe that if the players got out into the community more and were more engaging with the fans, people would be more comfortable with them and not make such a big deal seeing them out of the arena’s or their TV screens.
- Professionalism – With the best players in the world competing against one another, the season can be very long and taxing. It can be easy to get lazy and comfortable with what you are doing. I want every day to be just as important as the next, with a daily attitude that everybody is going to get better. With that, the players will be treated professionally and act professionally whenever they are at work. When you feel lazy and act lazy, good things never come from it.
The organizational structure of the team would come from its leaders, such as the owners, general managers, coaches, and trainers. If all of the staff members are on board with goals such as professionalism, improvement, and are putting in the time and effort to have the best positive team outcome, then the players will follow suit. If a player does not follow suit and is deviating from the team goals and procedures, then he will be traded for a more respectable athlete. The coach would manage the players on the ice and the strategies that go along with the everyday practices and games, while the general manager works with the player’s agents, contracts, and the overall chemistry of the team.
Below is a flow chart of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL and their management staff. This is a rough idea of what a staff entails to run an NHL team. The Head Coach or the General Manager positions is my ultimate career goal.