Minnesota Hockey Journal

March 2023

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M H J O N L I N E . C O M | M A R C H 2 0 2 3 16 by Shane Frederick Ready to Rock Tips ta k ing ca re of your school work a nd socia l life. So when we're at the rin k , we're just ta lk ing about hockey. If a ll those things a re ta ken ca re of, you ca n be focused on what you're doing to get bet ter. You're not prepa red to get bet ter if you're thin k ing about the test that you haven't studied for." Life ba lance is impor tant, Kir tland added. "Coach ta lks about a three-legged stool, ta k ing care of things academ- ica lly, socia lly and athletica lly," he said. " You've got to be ba lanced in a ll three to sit in that chair. If one's out of whack, you're not going to be able to sit dow n." JOINING THE COACHING STAFF OF THE MINNESOTA STATE MAVERICKS PRIOR TO THE 2021-22 SE A SON, Paul Kir tland k new he was wa lk ing into a ver y prepared hockey program. So it 's no sur prise the Mavs have been one of the most successf ul teams in college hockey. "I think preparation is every thing, because it 's such a broad term," Kirtland said. " You can talk about it in a big-picture sense, or you can talk about it in a really small-picture sense in terms of preparation for your rep in a drill. Or you can talk about it in a sense of preparation for the upcoming season. I just think it 's huge. We (as a team) talk about it all the time." Kir tland works to ma ke sure the Mavericks players are doing what they have to do to be prepared, whether it 's for practice, a weekend series or even life. Here are a few tips from the former Ohio State player. TAKE CARE OF WHAT'S IN FRONT OF YOU The expectation at Minnesota State is for players to be fully focused on hockey when they 're at the rink. That doesn't mean ignoring other things in life; it means taking care of them out- side of the arena. "Ta ke ca re of your 'da ilies,'" Kir tla nd sa id. "Coach Hastings says that quite a bit. It mea ns k now ing what 's ex pected of you a nd being able to go do your job. That includes Photo / Minnesota Hockey Minnesota State assistant coach Paul Kirtland's keys to preparation "Coach talks about a three-legged stool, taking care of things academically, socially and athletically. You've got to be balanced in all three to sit in that chair." Developing healthy habits including sleep and nutrition will lead to improved performance on the ice and in the classroom.

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