Throughout the 2017-18 season, U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”
Name: Richard Lim
School: Royal Military College of Canada (RMC)
Sport: Men’s hockey
Position: Head coach
Seniority: Third season
Hometown: Calgary, Alta.
- How did you first get involved in coaching? What was your path to your position as head coach of RMC?
After playing junior hockey, I knew that coaching was something I wanted to do. I enjoyed teaching and giving back, like so many of the coaches did for me. I started coaching Bantam AAA in Calgary before heading to RMC to play and earn a civil engineering degree. After playing for five seasons at RMC and graduating from the College, I stayed in Kingston to do a Master’s degree. During that time, I was able to join the coaching staff at RMC as an assistant coach for Adam Shell. It was then I found the true fire to become a full-time head coach and make it my career. Coaching was a means by which I could continue to learn, teach, and work in a competitive environment around like-minded individuals.
- Who are the people that have influenced you most as a coach?
My parents are the first that come to mind. My mom and dad always encouraged me to give back and to help within the community. They also pushed me to find a career that I loved, one that I look forward to every morning. Besides my parents, two people come to mind: Adam Shell and Dave Rogess. Adam was my coach at RMC and my coaching mentor. I learned so much from him about the game, the job, and how to conduct yourself as a professional. Dave was my coach in minor hockey and then coached with me out west. His friendship, guidance, and mentorship has really helped shape me into the coach and person I am today.
- How would you describe your coaching style?
Passion is probably a good one-word descriptor. I am passionate about everything I do and I bring that to my coaching style. I think it rubs off on our team and it is a style that we now play with on the ice. With that passion comes the necessity to communicate well within our dressing room and an accountability for our daily actions, all things we know translate well into life outside the rink
- Which coach do you admire the most, and why?
Joel Quenneville is a winner and is well respected by his players and peers. He continually finds ways to get the most out of all of his players. He is also someone who may look serious or unfriendly on television, but is anything but behind the scenes.
- What is the most “out-of-the-box” thing you’ve done as a coach?
It may not be way out of the box, but with the coaching staff at RMC, I brought on three first-time coaches that are all alumni of the program.
- What is your greatest coaching moment or achievement?
So far, winning our first game, my first season, after the team went winless the year before. It was a team commitment to change and move forward.
- What’s the best advice you can give to an athlete and/or athlete’s parents?
Enjoy the process! Not everything has to happen now. Most hockey players won’t make a living playing hockey, so enjoy the time you do and make the most of the memories.
- How have you changed as a coach over time? What principles/values, etc. have remained the same?
I think I have become a little less emotional, and not living and dying with every detail of the game or practice. But accountability is a value that has never waivered and will always be a core value of mine.
- What do you enjoy doing when you’re not in coaching mode?
I’m pretty cliché in that I’m an avid golfer. As soon as the snow melts, I’m on the links as much as possible. And after that glorious four hours, I’m out and about with my dog who is the big de-stressor for me during the season.
- What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you as a coach?
Being a shorter person, some of the benches are pretty high to step up to. Well, I split my pants one night. Typically I’m a pacer – up and down the bench – that period I don’t know if I took one step. In between periods I had to tape my pants back together so I could move around.