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Summer Meeting keynote speaker’s message: “Warriors, not Winners”

By Stefan Kubus | MiHockey, 07/18/18, 1:45PM EDT


Reed Maltbie emphasizes values, teamwork and ambition instead of winning

Reed Maltbie is a coach of 26 years.

He’s also the chief content officer for the Changing the Game Project and has even given a TEDx Talk on how coaches truly impact their players’ lives.

On Friday at the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association’s annual summer meeting in Mount Pleasant, Maltbie was the keynote speaker for the congregation in attendance.

Maltbie’s presentation, titled “Warriors, not Winners” emphasized the importance of embracing learned values, like teamwork, leadership, resilience and ambition and abandoning the “win at all costs” attitude in coaching.

For Maltbie, a coach looking to embrace a “warrior mentality”–and all the characteristics that accompany it – should first look in the mirror and commit to change even if it’s not popular or traditional.

“It’s that commitment, just like we teach in kids, to not be afraid of failure and to take risks. As coaches, we have to not be afraid of falling down in front of them and we have to be able to take those risks and say, ‘This is how I’m gonna do it’ and stand our ground against people who aren’t doing it that way.”

In key areas like motivation, goal orientation, mindset and competitive nature, Maltbie presented both ends of the spectrum for how coaches can approach situations with their team.

When it came to the area of competitive nature, for example, Maltbie said there are those that seek the easy route, look to finish a skill, have a fear of making mistakes and aim to win at all costs. And on the other hand, those with a warrior mentality will cherish a challenge, master a skill, tackle mistakes head-on and compete at all times.

Maltbie also shared some key principles detailed in a book by best-selling author James Kerr titled “Legacy,” tools like playing with purpose, knowing yourself, listening and controlling your attention.

If nothing else, there was one thing he wanted those in the room to take away from his presentation.

“That there’s a different way to do it, that we can still create champions without a toxic culture,” Maltbie said. “If you learn to create that warrior mentality, what happens is not only do the kids do well in sports, but they learn what’s needed to succeed in life beyond the game, and that’s really what matters for us as youth sports advocates.”

Listen to Maltbie's entire presentation below: