TORONTO, ON -- The Canadian Hockey Association and NIKE Canada Ltd. announced the launch Wednesday of the NIKE Skills Development Program manuals for the 1997-98 hockey season, a resource tool designed to help coaches teach young players the basic skills of Canada's national game.
The manuals, developed by a sub-committee of the Canadian Hockey Association's Coaching Committee in honor of the late Gordon Juckes, longtime executive of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, are aimed at helping coaches build a progressive skill development curriculum so young players can easily learn the fundamentals of the game and have fun doing it.
"The Canadian Hockey Association is proud of these instructional manuals, which we believe help coaches introduce young players to the game in a positive, supportive manner," said Jamie McDonald, the CHA's Director of Development. "We're equally proud that we have been able to build a partnership with NIKE Canada to ensure that young players continue to learn how to play hockey the right way."
The manuals - one for Atom players, another for Pee Wees -- are designed to provide lesson plans for an entire hockey season. The books are divided into 24 training sessions, divided into four phases of six practices, each with its own learning objectives and outcomes. The practice plans may be modified to suit the specific needs of the coach and the team.
Along with the manuals, the program includes the NIKE Skills Development Program Achievement Certificate, which is a way to reward players as they master the various phases of the development program. Upon completion of the first phase of the development plan, the player is presented with a certificate and a paste-on decal to show he or she has mastered that phase. Decals for phases II, III and IV will be awarded as the player progresses through the season.
"Nike Canada is thrilled to be able to participate in such a worthwhile program," said John Chappell, president of NIKE Canada. "NIKE is committed to the growth of hockey in Canada -- from the grassroots participation up to the most competitive level.
"This program teaches kids about having a goal and how to reach that goal and encourages the development of volunteer coaches. It's a great program."
NIKE will donate a total of 5,000 coaching manuals to the 2,500 minor hockey associations under the Canadian Hockey umbrella across Canada (two per association).
As well, NIKE, will host 10 local, two-day skills development camps for house-league players in major markets across Canada. Boys and girls who participate in the camp will receive a report card on their performance, showing them how they stack up against their peers across the country, indicating what skill areas they need to improve and providing a program to do just that.
High performance camps for both male and female players will be staged in Calgary, starting in the summer of 1998. The camps will provide advanced on-ice and off-ice instruction to some of the country's top young male and female players, helping them prepare for possible participation in future high-calibre international events such as the World Junior Championship, the World Women's Hockey Championship and/or the Winter Olympic Games.
"The Canadian Hockey Association's commitment to the growth of our game is well-known," said CHA president Murray Costello. "The NIKE Skills Development Program can only enhance our ability to deliver top-quality learning opportunities for our young boys and girls from coast to coast.
"The partnership between the CHA and NIKE is a natural and one we believe will flourish for years to come."