It’s not how fast you skate that’s important, but how fast you think. Think less play faster hockey is about helping players get to the skilled or unconscious competence stage in the hierarchy of learning in key areas of the game to become an elite player.

Key Areas of the Game

  1. Technical Hockey Skills,
  2. Hockey Sense (IQ) or Interpretive Skills,
  3. Individual and Group Tactical (Systems) Skills,
  4. Character Development,
  5. Emotional Intelligence Development,
  6. Physical Conditional (Fitness, Strength, Flexibility),

Hierarchy of Learning Chart

Hierarchy of Learning – Goal is Unconscious Competence (Skilled Stage)
4 Stages of Learning a New Skill – Hierarchy of Learning Defined
  1. Unconscious Incompetence – The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill, before moving on to the next stage. The length of time an individual spends in this stage depends on the strength of the stimulus to learn.
  2. Conscious Incompetence (Awareness) – Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.
  3. Conscious Competence (Learning) – The individual knows or understands how to do something. However, demonstrating the new skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.
  4. Unconscious Competence (Mastery) – The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become “second nature” and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending on how and when it was learned.
That Free Mindset – Skilled Stage or Unconscious Competence in the Hierarchy of Learning


The coaching process must be a Relationship Based Approach. Every coach should want their players to succeed in life and in sports so the approach must be person 1st and athlete 2nd. A sports career is short so the focus must be on character development to ensure the players are learning skills that will help them through life’s challenges.

The data overwhelming supports character drives performance. The technical skills and athletic ability of a player will take them only so far, it is the personal choices they make every day that determine the likelihood of being successful in sports and in life.

Every coach should be a role model for players and coaching character should be their # 1 priority.

Twitter Account —– @TLPF_Hockey