For 13 years, Ron Flockhart experienced professional hockey from a player’s point of view: “Get on the bus. get on the plane, eat the meal, go to bed, lace up your skates and play the game,” he says. But now Flockhart, 32, watches the game from the other side of the bench-as rookie head coach of the Dallas Freeze, a member of the resurgent Central Hockey League. And he’s learning to coach from a guidebook he received while scouting for coaching tips at a St. Louis Blues training camp last September.
“Some people learn to cook with a cookbook. I’m learning to coach hockey with a manual.” Flockhart says. The photocopied manual he carries in his briefcase offers advice on such fundamentals as running a practice, organizing a game and motivating players. “All the stuff you know, peripherally, from playing.”
Flockhart grew up with hockey in British Columbia and spent time as a center ^^ with five National Hockey League I teams. He also I logged four years on (he ice in Italy before the CHL called with the job in Dallas.
“I didn’t realize how big a step it was to go from player to head coach.” Flockhart admits. “All I was given was the name of a team. I had to go out and find players, set up training camp, hire trainers, deal with agents. I was always just the guy the coach called. I “was never the one who had to set up hotels and food.”