TCS Live: Helping Coaches Become Better Coaches
TCS Live: Helping Coaches Become Better Coaches

TCS Live: Helping Coaches Become Better Coaches

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It is said that a foolish man thinks he knows everything, while a wise man knows he doesn’t.

Knowing there was more to be learned about coaching hockey is what led now 29-year-old Colin Helke to The Coaches Site.

Rewind roughly seven years and Helke, who graduated from DC Everest High School and after attending college returned to be an Assistant Coach with their Junior Varsity team, wasn’t happy with his output as a coach. He was going through the motions and regurgitating what and how he had been coached throughout his playing days.

It was time for a change.

“I started diving into different podcasts and signed up for The Coaches Site and realized I really didn’t know anything about coaching!” laughed Helke. “There’s just so much out there. I started watching videos and learning as much as I could.”

One game day, on the road, during team breakfast, Helke, now an Assistant with the Varsity team, was deep into a learning session watching a past TCS Live video when he was joined by Brandon Jilek, one of his players. Jilek also became addicted to learning as much as he could about the game and upon graduation that year, Jilek joined Helke coaching on the D.C. Everest Evergreens.

Both Assistant Coaches laugh thinking back to their more clueless days as coaches, truly marvelling at how far they’ve come. The growth in Helke has been astounding, according to Jilek.

“He took over being my primary coach during my senior year, and that’s when he discovered The Coaches Site and shifted his mindset to development rather than pounding on the same lessons and yelling like you see a lot of coaches do,” said Jilek. “There was a change in him to focusing on the process and you could definitely see the change. It was really cool. Seeing his growth over five years, especially now that I coach with him, is crazy.

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Coaches Brandon Jilek (left) and Colin Helke (right) coach together for D.C. Everest Evergreens High School Hockey.

Helke and Jilek will proudly attend their third consecutive TCS Live this June in Ann Arbor. To say they’re fans of the three-day coaching masterclass is an understatement. At first they were on the fence about whether the conference would help them or if it was too advanced, but it turns out they’ve been able to apply lessons learned at the event very quickly.

“Most of our season is November to end of February, but we do a summer tournament in Madison,” explained Helke. “Each summer we use what we learn right away, like the mindset and how to approach things and how to talk to your players, we use that right away at the tournament.

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Keynote presentation at the 2023 TCS Live event.

“We implement quite a bit, right away, from the notes we take,” added Jilek. “Brandon Naurato’s talk two years ago on Creating Offence Inside the Decision Zone, we were blown away by it and we ran both his on-ice drills the next week. We’ve been explaining why it’s important to stay out of the cemetery ever since!”

Two friends, part-time coaches, doing what they can to better themselves so they can better their players. Furthering their coaching education all started, and continues to grow, because of a shared approach to learning.

“We go in the with the mindset that we know nothing, so anything we gain from anyone is appreciated,” said Jilek.

TCS Live tickets are on sale now, secure your seat today:

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