Kevin Bieksa’s Six-Point Formula for Building Team Culture

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Want to improve your team's culture? Bieksa has some tips on how to accomplish that.

Kevin Bieksa spent parts of 12 seasons playing for the Vancouver Canucks organization. He is one of Vancouver’s all-time best defensemen playing 597 games, and was one of the team’s core leaders, being a significant part of the Canucks’ run to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. He scored a memorable goal in double overtime at the Western Conference Final series against the San Jose Sharks. Bieksa is now a Hockey Night in Canada analyst and coaches at his hockey academy in Anaheim.

On November 3, 2022, he signed a one-day contract to retire with Vancouver. On the same day, the Canucks held a Kevin Bieksa night; he took part in the morning skate with the team and addressed the players before hitting the ice.

Bieksa mentioned the following six ingredients on how to build your team’s culture:

1. Be serious about your hockey preparation, but take the time to enjoy the moment.

Playing hockey is among the best times of your life. Do things with your teammates away from hockey.

2. Grow from adversity; things will not always be easy.

You will have some tough times and must endure them and persevere. Always take two or three learning points every time you have a setback. Sometimes you need to lose before you can win.

3. When you retire from playing and look back at your career, you will not talk about the goals you scored and the games you won. You will speak of your friendships and the culture you created on your teams.

Surround yourself with like-minded people with the same goals and ambitions as you.

4. Surround yourself with competitive people who want to improve daily. 

Be proud and work hard, honing your skills and fitness levels. Daily work on the fundamentals you need to perform your best is vital. Find something to work on before and after practice. That is how teams get better.

5. Hold yourself and your teammates accountable. 

If someone is not buying into the team culture and not giving their best for the team, get on them. Every team member must work their hardest, putting in the time and effort.

6. Compete and battle every day at practice. 

Create competition in all the drills and pay attention to the details of the game. When practice becomes more challenging than the games, then the games are going to be easy!

Enio Sacilotto

Enio Sacilotto is an Internationally renowned professional hockey coach, mental training coach and team-building expert, teacher, public speaker,...


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