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Daniele Sauvageau

Head coach of The First Canadian Women's Hockey Team to Win Olympic Gold in 50 Years

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Daniele Sauvageau: Head coach of The First Canadian Women's Hockey Team to Win Olympic Gold in 50 Years

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In sports and as in business, the instinct to win is crucial. To lead a team to victory, you have to accept the challenges and work together under adverse conditions. Danièle Sauvageau knows a thing or two about this.

In 2002, she led the Canadian women’s hockey team to its first-ever medal; she was the first female commentator on the traditional Hockey Night in Canada; she worked for 24 years with the Montreal police department and the RCMP. In Vancouver, she’ll be taking part in her seventh Olympic Games.

Today, Danièle Sauvageau draws on her expertise, her studies in social work and management, and her extensive experience to advise high-performance coaches and senior executives. In her presentations, she also speaks passionately about what she has learned.

Danièle Sauvageau’s passion, instinct and leadership were instrumental in the historic win by the Canadian women’s hockey team at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. As general manager and coach, she transformed a fear of losing into an absolute desire for victory, a radical turnaround that enabled her players to achieve their Olympic dream.

Sauvageau has taken part in six Olympic Games, as women’s hockey coach, general manager and coaching consultant. She played a key role in her team’s wins in seven consecutive world championships, and in the silver medal they won at the Nagano Olympics.

With her dedication, involvement in developing her sport and her winning record, she has become the undisputed guru of women’s hockey in Canada.

For 24 years, Sauvageau has served with the RCMP and Montreal’s police department, including the narcotics division. She is currently works as advisor to the strategic development department.

After completing a degree in social work, Sauvageau graduated from the RCMP academy. She obtained a master’s certificate in coaching from the National Coaching Certification Program and a management certificate from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales.

In January 2008, the University of Montreal gave Sauvageau carte blanche to set up the first women’s hockey team for the Carabins. But her expertise is not limited to just one sport! She has contributed to the success of a number of national programs, including the national synchronized swimming team and the women’s water polo team. She is involved as a coaching and performance consultant with the Canadian Olympic Committee in preparation for the Vancouver Winter Olympics. As such, she is closely associated with the success of Canadian short‐track speed skaters and figure skater Joanie Rochette.

Drawing on her expertise in human resources management, coaching, leadership, situation assessment, communication and the formation of winning teams, Sauvageau speaks on various topics related to performance.

Danièle Sauvageau has given hundreds of presentations across Canada and the United States. She has been invited to speak by companies in the pharmaceutical, finance and IT industries, as well as by government organizations. Each time, she captivates and inspires her audience, as she speaks about adversity and resilience, the notions of leadership and a winning team, and about what she has experienced, studied and applied.

Among her clients are leading financial institutions, the RCMP and the OPP, many high-level sports organizations such as Hockey Canada, Sport Canada, Water Polo Canada, Synchro Canada, Speed Skating Canada, federal and provincial government agencies, as well as numerous private, public and non-profit companies.

Adversity: knowing when to change course
Leadership in an organization
Secrets of coaching
Evaluating personnel
Strategies for personal management
Components of a winning team
Winning: it’s about embracing change