Meet Tayler Gorman. Tayler is a Central York Girls' Hockey Association (CYGHA) head coach, long-time hockey CYGHA player, referee and lifetime student of the game. Tayler's passion for hockey drives her desire to learn all there is to know about the game and to be her best as a leader, player and official. For Tayler, each of these roles have allowed her to gain unique perspectives of the game and herself.
1. Tell us a little bit about your experience as a coach? How did you get started and how long did you play before jumping into the role of a coach?
It all started in 2007. My parents signed me up to play hockey with Central York Girls Hockey Association. I fell in love with the game of hockey. I was hooked. I played on a house league team as well as on select teams. To this day, I still play in a recreational league.
During my grade 9 year of high school, I was given the opportunity to assist with coaching. This allowed me to pass on my love of hockey and be able to make a difference in the lives of kids. For four years, I volunteered with the Fundamental Division (4, 5, and 6 year olds). I was also given the position of Assistant Coach with Atom HL (U13) and Peewee DS (U15). As time progressed, I took on the role of Head Coach for the Panther Cubs (4, 5, 6, year old girls) and have been enjoying this position ever since.
2. What is the one part of the game of hockey you appreciate now that you're a coach that you didn’t as much as a player?
From the perspective of a coach, I have come to appreciate the drills and activities that were about positioning. As a younger player, I found the positioning drills boring and time-consuming. Since becoming a coach, I now see hockey through a highly skills-based lens that highlights the importance of these types of drills. Even though they can be time consuming, they do enable players to hone the fundamental skills of the game including the importance of positioning and roles.
During high school, I completed the qualifications to become a referee. Once I started to referee hockey games, it also allowed me to see the game from yet another perspective: from the eyes of a referee who often is the least liked person on the ice. It's also helped me to see that the main objective of the referee is to try to keep players safe and have fun playing. Certainly, having an appreciation of what expected of a referee has helped me to be a better coach.
3. What one piece of advice would you tell someone who’s considering becoming a coach?
One piece of advice that I would give to someone who is considering becoming a coach is that they should be open to learning and trying new things. Having an open mind is important and one needs to have a willingness to try new drills and be creative with the resources and equipment they use. For example, hula hoops and soccer balls can be great resources for skill development. I would also recommend getting involved with the league through volunteering and working with players and coaches. Lastly, attending coaching clinics and watching coaches work with different age groups is also so important.
4. And, what one piece of advice would you give a local sport organization that’s wanting to get more women involved in coaching?
One piece of advice that I would give local sports organizations to get more women involved in coaching is that they need to encourage and support women to take on more leadership roles. Currently, I see in girls’ sports that women are mostly fulfilling trainer roles and do not have much of an on-ice presence. This type of thinking has led to minimizing women in high leadership positions and this needs to change. Organizations need to change their organizational habits and encourage women to take on leadership roles.
5. If you had the ability to take any type of training to make you a better coach, what would that involve and how do you think it could help you?
If I had the opportunity to take any type of training to make myself a better coach, I would take conflict resolution and dryland training. Conflict resolution training would increase my skills with handling emotion and anger and help me to de-escalate aggression among parents, coaches, and other players. In addition, by taking dryland training, I will gain additional knowledge that I can implement into my team’s programming.
6. In your mind, what does an ideal player/coach relationship look like in order to help a player reach her full potential?
In my mind, the ideal player/coach relationship should be a mentorship relationship based on mutual respect and cooperation. Throughout this relationship, there should be ongoing communication and feedback. Players need constructive feedback to realize progress and development. By giving players clear success criteria, they can learn and recognize what success looks like which allows them to reach their full potential and feel a part of the team.
Women in Coaching - More from SeeWhatSheCanDo
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Blog and photos by Caroline Wiley. Caroline bridged her 20+ years of professional experience in the sport and recreation industry together with her passions for photography and supporting women in sport to create SeeWhatSheCanDo. Her vision is to create a welcoming space where active women find a sense of belonging within their own local community, see themselves in an authentic and awe-inspiring way and find resources to help them be their best active selves.
Photos provided by Tayler Gorman where indicated.
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