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April 2016 - Ryan Donald

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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April 2016 - Ryan Donald

Ryan Donald

Coaches Current Team / Previous Teams: Yale Bulldogs, Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL), Woodstock Slammers (MHL)

Years Coaching: 3

Coaches Hometown: St. Albert, Alberta

Chosen Attribute: Integrity

Integrity is important to me in a number of ways, but ultimately it boils down to being a person that is trustworthy, can be counted on, and responsible.  Players and coaches who are able to lead a life of integrity are set up for success in all avenues of life.  As an individual with integrity it shows me as a coach that a player is committed to doing the right things every single time, whether it is easy to do so or not.

Why is this attribute important to you?

In sports I always liked 1 Kings 20:11 – The King of Israel Answered “Tell him. ‘One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.’”  To me it emphasizes humility within sports and competition, underlining the importance of experience within competition, and also within our communities.  Being quiet and humble are traits that don’t garner much attention, but as a coach and teammate are valuable qualities.

What is your favorite scripture verse?  Why is this important to you?  

LUKE 12:48 “Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more. Do the best with what god has given you and use whatever gift you have been given to serve others.

Who is your favorite coach outside of hockey?  Why?  

A coach that I like to see work is Pete Carroll with the Seattle Seahawks.  I’ve read a bit about him as a coach and have watched him over the last few years with the run that Seattle has had.  He is a coach that uses a lot of positive communication, imagery, and enthusiasm into what he does, and it seems to be infectious to those around him.

What is your dream coaching job (if different than your current position)?  

I'm doing my dream job!

Share a recent coaching highlight that you have had.

A recent coaching highlight for me would be having the opportunity to get back to Yale over this past season and coach at my Alma Mater.  Since the end of my playing career I’ve always thought about having the chance to return and get involved with the hockey program, and to now be able to have the chance to do so I feel very blessed to be able to help these young men through the same struggles that I faced as a player, person, and student.  To be able to pour into these guys on a daily basis has been great for me both as a coach but also as a person.

Tell us a little bit about your coaching philosophy.  Why do you coach?  How does your faith play into your coaching?  Which coach has had the greatest impact on you and the way you coach?  What ways are you able to make an impact for Jesus at the ice rink?

My coaching philosophy is constantly evolving, especially considering how early I am in my coaching career.  I like to try and convey enthusiasm, energy and excitement to my guys on a daily basis, helping them to understand the value in every day’s work.  Enforcing the idea that work and fun aren’t always mutually exclusive, and that our players should enjoy every moment of their seasons, through the highs and the lows.

The coaches who have had the greatest impact on my coaching are my former coach and current boss Keith Allain, as well as my coach in my final year as a player, John Wroblewski.  From a faith perspective, I am still evolving and trying to learn more ways to bring it to the forefront in my daily routines.  My faith is a key component of who I am as a person and as a coach, and I try to allow it to show through in my own interactions on a daily basis.  With my previous team in Woodstock we were successful in beginning a relationship with a local church and started a bi-weekly chapel program, while also contributing to Operation Christmas Child.

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