• Peter Miller

On the Sport and the Growing Good podcast, we learn from top coaches, leaders and competitors about how they go about their everyday work.

Tony Granato’s accolades and accomplishments in hockey are remarkable. A highest level champion of the game in every way at college, NHL and Olympic levels, Tony is recognized as one of the great teammates, competitors and leaders in the game. As head coach of the Badgers, Tony continues to positively impact countless lives each year. He joined SGG, where we discussed:

1. The shared passion for hockey among the Granato siblings. “NHL games” in the family basement. Core values and love developing in the basement.

2. Coaching principles “come from that basement.”

3. Benefits of free play. Learning about leadership and how to be a teammate.

4. Learning about courage and perseverance from his sister Cammi. “She fought through lots of barriers and obstacles.”

5. Learning from his brother Donny about overcoming hard things.

6. Learning about the core values of individuals that his team recruits.

7. One of Tony’s bell cows (models): Bob Johnson – “His enthusiasm and passion for hockey was what I thought it should be. He brought that spirit to wherever he was.” “His style was unique back then. Coaches were hard-nosed and tough. Stand-offs. Screamers and yellers…Badger had the opposite. He loved and appreciated players for who they were.”

8. Another bell cow: his dad. “He didn’t know hockey very well…But what I learned from him was love and care for one another. Respect and care for each other and the game.”

9. Positive mindset. Taking positive things from other players.

10. “I don’t want to be respected because I was a good player. I want to be respected because I was a good teammate.”

11. Personality of a team. “It has to be a natural thing.”

12. “Great character” vs. “great characters” in the game of hockey.

13. Values/principles of his program: work ethic; passion/love for the game and people.

14. “When you’re appreciated, you’re willing to go through the wall for somebody.”

15. Differences in international models of sport and development.

16. US Hockey’s new model for developing the game.

17. European focus on tactical and skill work.

18. Talent capitalization.

19. Starting points in leadership development: Core values. Compassion. Relationships.

20. “The part I’ve enjoyed most about my journey in sport is the fact that I’ve been able to share it with my brothers and sisters and dad and mom. We’re all connected by sport.”

21. His dad never pushed hockey upon him.