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May 2015 Tony Sazowski

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

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May 2015 Tony Sazowski

Tony Sazowski - May Coach of the Month



Years Coaching:

Current team:

Darien, IL


Springfield Jr Blues

Chosen Attribute (Teamwork, Excellence, Serving, and Integrity):


Why is this attribute important to you?

If you commit to something, follow through and do your best. In life one faces a lot of adversity. If you are committed, you will not only work to meet your goals, you will work through the good and bad times. You will allow your passion to show and draw the best out of you.

Who is your favorite coach outside of hockey? Why?

Urban Meyer – I followed his career from the time that he was at Notre Dame as an assistant coach. I respect how he has build his programs around a Plan to Win but has not lost sight of the sense of team and connecting with his players. After reading his book, I love how he could push his players, find exciting ways to reward them, and introduced position dinners at the coaches how to build the sense of family within the team.

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

My dream coaching job would be head coach in the NHL. I would like to coach at the highest level and help bring the best out of the team.

Share a recent coaching highlight that you have had.

At our year-end banquet we recognized out team MVP who has signed a scholarship to attend a NCAA D1 school. He thanked me for pushing him to play juniors and give him an opportunity. He said without me, he would be golfing at another institution and not playing hockey.

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 build on developing the total individual, putting them in a position to succeed, and promoting them to the next level. I believe in structure, which is why we have a detailed program for our players on and off the ice that create the framework for success. From there, I like to give my players the freedom to showcase their skill and not being afraid to make mistakes. Once they are able to attract attention from higher-level teams, we work to do what is best for the players.

I coach to give back to the game of hockey. Hockey opened many doors for me, I and hope to do that for other players. Faith plays a strong role in my coaching, as I want the players to know it is important in my life along with making it a safe place for them to grow theirs.

The coach that had the greatest impact on me is Mike Hastings. Coach set a standard of black and white. He was not afraid to let you know when you made a mistake, but was the 1st to let everyone know when you did something well. You knew where you stood and what you had to do to be successful. It was just up to you as a player to go do. This standard is what I work everyday to hold my players.

I think the biggest way I am able to make an impact for Jesus every day at the rink is by creating an environment to grow better men. Men that will make this world a better place from doing things the right way through hard work, sacrifice, and sense of community while learning to put group goals ahead of your personal ones.

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