Coaches are like players in that they are always looking to improve their skills.
And Hockey Canada has designed a program to help coaches do just that.
Hockey Canada’s Coaching Mentorship program has launched a series of six specialty clinics to help coaches
hone their skills. These new innovative specialty clinics offer coaches a practical session on teaching
various skills, tactics and systems. The proactive approach also opens the doors of communication and
provides a non-threatening environment for coaches to further pursue a mentor.
The course is a three-hour session divided in half, with 1.5 hours spent in the classroom where coaches
watch video specific to the area they are looking to improve in. They are also provided materials and a
workbook with specific drills and suggestions on how to teach kids to be better skaters, for example. The
final 90 minutes are spent on the ice where they work with an instructor and see first-hand how to apply the
drills and what to look for in certain areas of skating, such as common errors and how to fix them. The goal
of the session is to make Dan better at teaching skating but also to potentially form a bond between Dan and
the mentor delivering the clinic.
Hockey Canada went to the provincial Branches and asked what they wanted to see in specialty clinics and
came back with a list that included everything from skating to goaltending to creative thinking to team
systems. Hockey Canada worked with the Branches in prioritizing the list and the six clinics are the result
of that co-operation.
The next round of clinics will be specific to goaltending, creative thinking, teaching checking and
“Where this came from was a recognition that we wanted to get mentors out in the community. We wanted to
get local people who have expertise in specific areas to be out in the community in delivery and
programming,” says Dean McIntosh, who oversees coaching programs for Hockey Canada.
“That was sort of the first step. We wanted to say you have people in your community that have skating
expertise and they are trained in delivering these clinics so it really brings that mentor closer to the
“This is coaching helping coaches and how good is that?”
Good enough for Hockey Canada.
For more information on Hockey Canada’s Coaching Mentorship program, contact your local Hockey Canada