Moras tränare Jeremy Colliton bloggar om sin vardag, på och utanför rinken.
2016-09-11 21:06:00 | Okategoriserat
The season’s about to start, feels like time for another blog post. Finally we get to play real games and it is long overdue for the players and coaches, I’m sure the fans feel the same way.
This time of year there is a lot of prediction making by media and fans, and often the players and coaches are asked their thoughts on how things will go. It’s almost impossible to predict a table unless you’ve seen every team a couple times and very few have. I think if you have some familiarity with the league it’s possible to say where your own team fits in, but even then, most people are overly optimistic in September. I have not seen half the league yet and so to sort through who is stronger between Hästen, Västervik, and Pantern, for example is a tough task. Fun to do but don’t believe those who say they know anything for sure.
We played 9 games this pre-season, and while it is a good opportunity to experiment and evaluate our team, it’s a grind for everyone. You can tell at the end it’s tough for the players to get mentally prepared to go to battle for 60 minutes when points aren’t on the line. We played 3 tournaments this year, and I think it really helped in that way. It felt we were playing for something extra and that’s the kind of preparation we need to see how everyone reacts under pressure.
Despite all this, we’re going to learn more about our team in the first 20 minutes of the game on Wednesday than we did in the entire pre-season. And I can’t wait.
2016-01-11 15:51:00 | Okategoriserat
I’m writing this today from a highway somewhere in Sweden. We are currently on the bus to Hudiksvall en route to Umeå for the start of our latest road trip. I thought what a perfect time to write a post about the road. They are a double edged sword, both a great opportunity to bond with your teammates and make some memories but they also take you away from your family, your routine and of course it’s not easy to win away from home. For the most part my time on the road as a player involved a lot of bus trips. Of course the Islanders flew almost everywhere and we flew a to a lot of games with Rögle but my two longest stays anywhere were in Prince Albert (WHL) and Bridgeport (AHL). A lot of bus trips. More hours than I would care to calculate.
Guys do lots of different things to kill the time, sleeping, catching up on movies or TV shows, occasionally doing some form of homework or my personal favourite as a player, playing cards. It really depends on the group, some teams I’ve been on it was literally every waking moment dealing a hand but it seems like now the guys are lost in their own movies or computer. I did see a Monopoly game break out in the back a couple weeks ago which warmed my heart and I’ve seen some card games in the hotel lately so maybe there is hope.
These days road trips are a lot different for me, there seems to be way less down time. Instead of playing cards, Örjan and I are discussing the team, breaking down video or having player meetings. Sometimes it’s good to just sit in silence and think.
One thing that is pretty consistent on road trips is the food. There are only so many things that you can eat out of a tin-foil container and teams tend to have their favourite places to stop whether that is based on budget, mandatory bus breaks or just because the guy in charge has a hankering for something. When I was playing junior with the Prince Albert Raiders my coach at the time, Peter Anholt, was a huge fan of veal cutlets and lasagne. I’m pretty sure I could name more small town Saskatchewan diners than most people who live there. By the end of my time with the Raiders, nothing killed my appetite faster than the sight of those two dishes.
Nothing makes a road trip longer than losing. There is no escape, you can’t get away from it. Nothing else to do but think about an opportunity lost.
One road trip that sticks with me the most is the time we made a West coast swing, I can’t remember who we were playing. Now the trip out to the coast is about a 20 hour drive from Prince Albert and then we played 3 games in 3 nights, losing them all. Our coach was so furious we got on the bus after the last game and drove all night without getting off the bus. Probably the only time I would’ve killed someone for veal cutlets.
It is important to note here that I think Peter was a fantastic coach and while 17 year old me was terrified of him, he taught me a lot about what it takes to be a leader and a winner. Can’t wait to share a lasagne with him again.
2015-11-25 20:50:00 | Okategoriserat
Today I thought I would pull back the curtain, and talk a little bit about what happens behind the big black door. When I talk about the dressing room (or locker room if I was American), I mean the guys in it. The 25 players, equipment managers, medical team and the coaches and how they interact every day for 9 months. Every room is different, which isn’t surprising, but there are a few classic roles;
The Finemaster: this guy is usually someone the guys respect, at least quasi-responsible, and generally not a rookie. His job is to take care of the team finances and enforce and collect fines when we do wrong. Some things that will cost you some krona include being late, smashing your stick in anger, stepping on the team logo, or wearing your hat at a team meal but every team is a bit different, I’ve been on teams where kissing your girlfriend in public was a fine. The money collected is used for team functions or other events throughout the season.
The Music Man: a really important role, he sets the mood in the room. He tries to provide the right energy, and has the latitude to play whatever the hell he wants. Before the marvels of modern technology his job was harder, he carried around a case of CD’s, then it was an Ipod, and now it’s all off his cell phone. Landing this job is a bit like being a mafia boss, you go out and take it, and as long as you have the support of the team you are king.
The Veteran: this guy has been around, he’s seen it all. He usually sets the tone, and is the go to authority for settling little disputes. The Veteran can be the Captain, but not always. He is often called the “Team Daddy” in Sweden.
The Prankster: sometimes a team has more than 1, but there has to be at least 1. He lightens the mood when things are tight, after a tough loss or long road trip. Some go to pranks include wet clothes in the freezer, holes in coffee cups, sawed off sticks, snipped laces, or plastic tape on skate blades. A creative mind can do much good.
The Social Convenor: this player brings the team together. Dinners on the road, team outings, or a few beers together after a game. A team that enjoys being around each other away from the rink can sometimes find that extra level of sacrifice on the ice.
The Kid: this guy is usually the youngest on the team, and often a budding star. On this team it is about a 6 way tie for the title this year. The older guys abuse him at first, maybe don’t even acknowledge him. They make him earn it, and teach him the lessons of being a pro along the way. I might be an old guy now but I spent a lot of time being “The Kid” on a team. I have some great memories and even better stories from that time in my life, but probably that’s another blog post.
2015-11-09 16:49:00 | Okategoriserat
First post for me in this new as yet unnamed venture that will be my blog, we had talked about me starting one at the end of October and I agreed. Took me a few days to collect my thoughts and make an entry but here goes, a few days removed now from our last game;
It’s been a tough stretch obviously, professional hockey is a results based business in the end and when the results are not there it is stressful. I guess the thing about this team is I feel we have the right people here to be involved at the end and do some damage. So the pain is more in that I see the players working hard and it not paying off. And I want them to be rewarded for the work that’s being put in because I’m proud of how they have battled in tough circumstances. There is no doubt in my mind that we’ll get the points we need to climb the table so I don’t lose sleep over that.
For that reason it was a huge win up in Sundsvall and it really gave the guys a good feeling to take with them on the days off and the practices this week have been excellent. Great energy, work ethic, and a feeling that we are on our way. The key is to keep that desperation and urgency in our game that caused us to play so well the last 3 games before the break. I thought the guys found another level.
We have a young team and we have shown that inexperience at times this season, but the trade off for that is this group has a hunger to compete and work to develop themselves. And I’ve seen many of our players take huge steps in their development in these first few months of the season. We are certainly not surprised and no one else should be either that we’ve gone through some growing pains early on but the standard we ask of the players and that they demand of themselves will continue to be very high. And the results will follow.