It should not be such a difficult question...but ask any number of professional junior hockey coaches the same question and we will see most become uncomfortable trying to come up with the answer.
The elevator speech
Every coach in the game should have a 90 second response to such a question ready at all times. This is your go-to answer that can be used 300 times a year while talking to prospects, parents, colleges and potential employers.
Are you a developer of talent or just utilize of it?
Every coach has a number when it comes to this question. Some are 50/50 others weigh heavily on one side or the other. At the higher levels of play, a coach that can get the most out of his team night in and night out might be a 10/90 guy. Hey, that's ok for the higher levels of professional or even college hockey, but is that really the best scenario for a guy in junior hockey?
How much emphasis is placed on character development?
I know a very successful coach that is currently out of a job because he often turned a blind-eye to bad off ice behavior. Another friend has been all but black-balled from the level of play because of the actions of a team owner that he overlooked. Gentlemen, like it or not, your team's behavior, on and off the ice, has a direct impact on your future in the game. Colleges don't want players from PartyTown junior hockey.
You can't buy class
It does not take much to look and act in a professional manner. Some guys get it and others don't give a crap. Make no mistake, everybody is watching and talking. It's easy to take away their ammunition with a good presentation. Also, don't talk about other programs while recruiting. Focus on what you bring to the table. I know another guy that lost out on an NAHL opportunity because he had previously ran his trap about the team he applied for. Also, go out with the boys and have a good time, that's to be expected. There is no need to get hammered to a point where it becomes a major embarrassment. Again, your next job might be on the line here...act like it.
Shut up and coach
The game has evolved from the days of Reggie Dunlap and the Hanson Brothers. There is no need to scream at the game officials, that will always bite you square in the butt. There is nothing you are going to say that will make a positive change. Leave the whistle blowers alone. Also remember that nearly every player on both teams can hear and see just about everything that is happening on the benches and ice. One of those players might be the brother or cousin of a player you want to attract later on. Keep the big picture in mind at all times.
So really, I ask again, just what kind of coach are you?