Herb Brooks

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Herb Brooks

Herb Brooks, in my opinion, was one of the greatest coaches and leaders in the history of sports. Herb Brooks was an inspirational leader. Brooks was also an innovator in American hockey. He created the "hybrid" style of hockey, which mixed a European puck possession style of play with the North American dump-and-chase style of play. Part of what made Brooks so successful was his way of motivating players and getting the most out of them. In his career Herb had many great accomplishments, from his days as a player in the NHL, to coaching the University of Minnesota to three National Championships. Brook’s largest accomplishment, however, was coaching the 1980 Olympic Hockey team to a gold medal in Lake Placid, New York. The 1980 Olympic Games were held in the heart of the Cold War and beating the soviets was more than just winning a gold medal, it was beating the communist USSR as a whole. Brooks handpicked his team which was made up of eighteen to twenty-one year old college players. "You're looking for players whose name on the front of the sweater is more important than the one on the back," Brooks once said. "I look for these players to play hard, to play smart and to represent their country." The U.S. was definitely the underdog in this game and Brooks’ motivation and coaching style helped the U.S. team to win and be known forever as “The Miracle on Ice.”

Brooks’ motivational and inspirational style of coaching helped him to be one of the most admired names in the history of hockey. Brooks tragically died in a car accident in 2003 and will never be forgotten. A quote from Ken Morrow, a former player of Brooks, said it best, “when it came to hockey, he was ahead of his time. All of his teams overachieved because Herbie knew how to get the best out of each player and make him part of a team. And like everyone who played for him, I became a better person because I played for Herb Brooks.”

Herb Brooks' leadership helped turn a ragtag team...
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