Crafting a Team’s Core Values with Kalamazoo Wings’ Joel Martin

Martin incorporates daily affirmations into his team's routine as a way to further create a culture of communication.

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In episode #205 of the Glass and Out Podcast, we welcome Joel Martin, Head Coach of the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings. Martin is in his first season as the Head Coach of the K-Wings, and is currently one of only two black head coaches in North American professional hockey.

In a league that is very much in the middle ground of older players who are looking to extend their professional careers and young players looking to work their way up, the role of an ECHL coach can be a tough one to manage. Martin believes it starts with direct communication.

“Asking them the question of where do you want to go and how do you need to get there I think is important. I think trying to put guys in situations where they can have the most success is important.”

Inspired by mentor Tim Lester, Head Coach of the Western Michigan football team, Martin incorporates daily affirmations into his team’s routine as a way to further create a culture of communication.

“It’s an opportunity for us to create a positive environment for players, and also to learn about players. They start telling you who their hero is, they affirm a staff member who has been helping them get through an injury. You get to learn who they are and they get to learn about each other as teammates.”

Listen as Martin touches on why former goaltenders make great coaches, the power of positive affirmation and keeping things fun, and the principles to shutting teams down in your defensive zone.

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