Powell River Kings
From amateur to professional, it takes dedicated coaches to lead a successful hockey team. The role of a coach goes beyond just teaching plays and strategies on the ice. They are also responsible for developing and nurturing the players, instilling discipline and teamwork, and creating a strong team culture.
A prime example of such a coach is Brock Sawyer, the current head coach of the Powell River Kings, a Junior A ice hockey team based in Powell River, British Columbia, Canada. With over 15 years of coaching experience at various levels, Sawyer has left a lasting legacy on the Kings’ program, shaping it into a powerhouse in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).
Under Sawyer’s leadership, the Powell River Kings have consistently been one of the top teams in the BCHL, with multiple division titles and playoff appearances. But beyond the wins and losses, his impact on the players and the community is what truly sets him apart.
Sawyer’s Coaching Philosophy: Developing More Than Just Hockey Players
For Sawyer, coaching is not just about the game but also about developing well-rounded individuals who will succeed on and off the ice. In an interview with BCHL, Sawyer stated, My job is to develop players as best as I can, both on and off the ice. We want them to become better people, better students, and better citizens.
This philosophy is evident in the team’s community involvement. The Powell River Kings regularly participate in fundraising events and community outreach programs, such as visiting local schools and hospitals. This not only helps them bond as a team but also teaches them the importance of giving back to the community.
Sawyer also understands the importance of academics and encourages his players to excel in their studies. In fact, the Powell River Kings have consistently been one of the top teams in the BCHL for education awards, with several players going on to play college hockey in the United States.
Building a Winning Culture: Teamwork and Discipline
In today’s highly competitive hockey landscape, being successful requires more than just individual talent. Teamwork and discipline are crucial components for a team to reach its full potential, and Sawyer instills these values in his players from day one.
The Kings’ captain, Levi Glasman, who has played under Sawyer for three seasons, shared in an interview, He values team chemistry and expects everyone to buy into the team-first mindset, and it’s made us a close-knit group. This strong team culture is a reflection of Sawyer’s leadership, which has not only led to success on the ice but also created lifelong bonds between players.
Discipline is also a key aspect of Sawyer’s coaching, something that is instilled in the players from their training sessions. Coach Sawyer wants us to be accountable every day, and that starts with hard work at practice, which translates to the game, said Tyler Cristall, a former player under Sawyer.
This emphasis on discipline has translated into on-ice success, with the Powell River Kings becoming one of the most disciplined and least-penalized teams in the BCHL.
A Proven Track Record: Producing Top Talent
Sawyer’s coaching has produced a number of talented players who have gone on to play at higher levels. In the 2019 NHL Draft, two Powell River Kings alumni were selected – Ben Brinkman and Ethan Leyh. The team has also seen over 70 alumni go on to play college hockey, including household names like current NHL star Kyle Turris.
But Sawyer’s impact goes beyond just the players who make it to the professional level. His coaching has helped develop countless players who have gone on to become successful in their own right, whether it be in their careers or personal lives.
Maintaining Success: Constant Adaptation and Innovation
With over 15 years of coaching experience, Sawyer understands that success is not stagnant, and it requires constant adaptation and innovation. He continuously evolves his coaching style and strategies to keep up with the ever-changing hockey landscape.
He also recognizes the importance of technology in training and scouting, which has led to the Powell River Kings being one of the most advanced teams in the BCHL, using tools like video analysis and analytics to improve individual and team performance.
Brock Sawyer’s impact on the Powell River Kings program has been truly remarkable. His coaching philosophy, emphasis on teamwork and discipline, and track record of success have not only produced top talent but also developed well-rounded individuals who are making an impact both on and off the ice.
As the Powell River Kings continue to thrive under his leadership, Sawyer’s legacy will only continue to grow, making him not just a coach, but a mentor, role model, and true leader of the hockey community.