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All Kurtis Foster And Rob Wilson

from Alex Scantlebury of Grandstand Central,

Kurtis Foster and Rob Wilson both find themselves working the bench as head coaches in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) now that their playing careers have come to an end. Foster is heading into his inaugural season as the bench boss for the Kingston Frontenacs, and Wilson is about to start his first season as the head coach of the Peterborough Petes, the team that he played with as a teenager.

I wanted to know how this recent spotlight on mental health has changed the dynamics of leading a team, how they plan to adjust and how their professional careers have prepared them for the unique challenges each will face when dealing with their players as individuals and as a team....

GSC — Do think that old-school coaching mentality of “toughen up and play” will ever fully disappear from competitive hockey?

Foster — “That’s a tough question. I feel that there are pros and cons to any kind of coaching style you might have, and I think that we’re in a day and age where concussions and mental health, those sort of things, have changed and evolved the game. We have to really listen to our therapists and our doctors as to what our players’ best interests are at the heart of these decisions we’re trying to make, but at the same time our job is to grow and develop young players in a winning environment. Because if we don’t win we don’t develop, and we don’t have a job.”

Wilson — “It’s not about ‘toughen up and play,’ and it was never just on the coaches. It was also the environment of the players and how they felt they were viewed by their peers or their own parents, their brother or their friend group that they went to high school with. Then they’d go on to play hockey somewhere and that was how they wanted their new organization to view them, and that had a lot to do with the situation. It wasn’t just the coaches that players were worried about what they were thinking. When I look back now, you realize all of the coaches, whether you liked them or not, were just humans too. It was a different time, and it wasn’t just on the coaches. How the players felt around their teammates and peers added just as much pressure as the coaches.”

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Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kurtis+foster, rob+wilson

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