Fife Flyers thrive on ‘work hard and like it’ motto of coach Tom Coolen
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Some 2000 fans took in last weekend’s thrilling 5-1 win over Glasgow Clan, and the club is hoping they return in the same number as the buzz around the rink continues to grow at the start of a new campaign.
The fans have warmed to Tom Coolen’s fast skating, hard working new-look roster, and the coach revealed a motto that sits at the heart of his ethos: ‘work hard and like it.’
He first saw it above the dressing room door almost 30 years ago, and it’s a message he delivers in centre ice after each training session.
“In 1996, I was coaching in AHL working with the Calgary Flames organisation, and we were up against Portland Pirates coached by Barry Trotz. He invited me into his dressing room and there was a big sign over the door “work hard and like it.”
That was my word today to the players on centre ice. We work hard. We come here for a reason - to get better. We want to be in the best shape so they have to learn how to work hard and love it. I want to believe guys want to work hard, come here and feel more satisfied when they leave and they feel fatigued.”Coleen’s high tempo training sessions have become the hallmark of his approach.
“High intensity and speed - two solid attributes we have to bring to every game, win or lose,” he said. “We have to train as we play. Looking at our schedule, we play two games back to back each weekend. We are off on a Monday, in the gym Tuesday and then on ice. Wednesday is conditioning day. Every time we do a drill I expect the guys to do it at game speed.”
Coolen should have defenceman Reece Harsch back after illness kept him out of the weekend line up, while forward Johan Erikkson is also over his injury, which means he will have to decide his healthy scratches before face off.
Coolen should have defenceman Reece Harsch back for the Challenge Cup match after illness kept him out of the weekend line up, while forward Johan Erikkson is also over his injury.
Regardless of who plays, he is looking to his team to go at Giants. “It’s a huge test but we will be ready to play. I thought we played well in Braehead. We didn’t win the game but we were in it. There were maybe some nerves and the guys were not relaxed with the puck, but they were on Sunday. The guys wanted to handle the puck and move it, and do it more naturally.