“Hockey is a tool for evolving people,” says William Von Göttsche, new Slave Lake Icedog’s coach. “I want to get them to lead. We will give them the tools to evolve.”
Von Göttsche is a hockey coach, entrepreneur, and “production evolver.”
Part of his coaching goal with the Slave Lake Icedogs is to educate them to be entrepreneurs. This includes giving the players tools and encouraging them take responsibility and find innovative ways to use them to make the team better. He’s more worried about teamwork than winning.
Von Göttsche has coached hockey since he was 16, which is 18 years. He left his last coaching job in Sweden because he disagreed with the new coaching style imposed by the league. He was then approached to be a talent scout for a team in the Eastern portion of the Greater Metro Hockey League (GMHL).
Last year, while in Canada he continued to run his construction company in Sweden.
“It doesn’t matter where I am,” he says. He does the initial sketch for a project. He has an architect draw it to scale, then makes a bid.
Von Göttsche grew up in western Sweden. He’s Swedish and part German on his dad’s side. He started playing hockey when he was about three.
“My father played hockey,” he says. “I think he was the only one in the family.”
As a child, Von Göttsche was involved in several sports, rode dirt bikes and horses, and played the piano.
“If you have a wideness knowledge, you get a very sharp tip,” he says. It is the Swedish way, but his cousins in Germany were also involved in many things.
At 15 or 16, Von Göttsche focused on hockey. He took his first coaching course when he was 16.
Von Göttsche’s time in high school (called gymnasium in Sweden) was divided between being on the ice and studying engineering production, which he describes as a “production evolver.”
“I learned how to make production much faster by using technology,” he says.
The government of Sweden’s website says, “Gymnasium (upper secondary school or high school, years [Grades] 10–12) is optional. There are 18 regular national programs of three years to choose from, six of which are preparatory for higher education such as university, and 12 of which are vocational.”
After Von Göttsche’s mandatory military service, he was drafted to a hockey team in the third highest hockey league in Sweden. Unfortunately, before he was able to play in any games he injured his knee. He then took a break from playing hockey for several years and focused on coaching.