Ryan Walter played over 1100 games in the National Hockey League. In his second NHL season, he was made captain of the Washington Capitals. He broke his ankle in 1986, missed the rest of the season, yet returned to anchor the 23rd Stanley Cup for Montreal.
Ryan Walter’s hockey resume is long and storied. He was drafted second overall in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft by Washington, played out the bulk of his career in Montreal, then retired in Vancouver. An All Star, Man of the Year, players’ association president, Walter also spent time playing and coaching with Hockey Canada. Today he is a leadership development coach, alongside his wife, Jenny.
Transitioning to a hockey coach to a player, Walter says the advantage is that you know the culture of the dressing room.
“Coaching is long work, and a lot of players are not ready to put in that type of effort. Because coaching is all about video right now, it’s about getting your players on the same page. It’s about making them better. You do that through practice and games. That’s the normal way, but now there’s this video component. It’s a powerful opportunity, but it takes a lot of time.”
Leadership coaching felt like a natural fit after hockey. There are similarities between professional sports and professional business. The connection all comes down to the principles of leadership.
In life, the biggest thing that stops people from moving forward is they don’t think they can do it.
Walter adds, “Sometimes it’s good to have an external person to help you.”
For the full interview.