M.A. boys play hockey by the book
New coach assigned one book and three essays as summer homework to prepare team
By Elleni Oberle
Talon staff writer
“I could tell that they put a lot of effort into them [essays] and learned a lot,” Minnehaha Academy boy’s varsity hockey coach John Gould said about the boy’s hockey team.
“These assignments gave me a good understanding on what this season will be like,” junior forward Michael Fabie said.
The Minnehaha boy’s hockey team took this summer seriously for training. Gould had the team read The Art of War.
The Art of War was written in the 6th century BC by Sun Tzu. The book has 13 chapters, each about an aspect of warfare.
“If you are far from the enemy, make him believe that you are near.”
This is one of Gould’s favorite quotes in the book. Gould was first introduced to the book as part of his Marine Corps training.
He wanted the players to read the book because he thought it not only related to hockey but everyday life too.
“The Art of War is a wonderful book that teaches principles that may be applies to any area of life and they may use for the rest of their lives,” Gould said.
Gould also had the players write three essays.
One of the essays they had to write was on The Art of War, and what they learned from it and how it can apply to their lives and the hockey team.
The second essay was on the 1980 Olympic Hockey (Miracle on Ice) team. “The way that team was able to come together and overcome against all odds is a lesson we can all draw from,” said Gould.
The last essay was on principles that will be the foundation of their success this year on and off the ice: integrity, discipline, teamwork, ethic, faith, family, scholastics and gratitude.
The boys wrote the essays over the summer and turned them in before the first day of captain’s practice.
“The boys did great on the assignments,” said Gould. “You could hear their passion for hockey come through. I enjoyed reading them, it also gave me a chance to get to know each player a little better.”
“The essays helped us mentally get ready and focused on the upcoming hockey season and allowed us to view some strategies that could be used to win games this season,” junior forward Johnny Siebel said.
The essays set a theme and goal for the season. Some of the goals that Gould already set with the team are, to inspire players to be good citizens and students, facilitate and environment that allows the formation of quality relationships, effectively teach the sport of hockey and, of course have fun.
Writing the essays made the boys think of what the season will be like.
“Personally the extra studying has made me mentally more ready for the competitive play,” senior forward Jordan Larson said, “The training we did over the summer really helped our overall strength and flexibility which I believe has shown on the ice.”
“We [the coaching staff] really started to see them come together and begin to give it 110%,” Gould said.
“These assignments gave me a good understanding on what this season will be like. It will be tough, but if all the players come to play and work hard,” said Fabie, “it will be hard to be defeated.”