Coaching youth sports takes time, effort, patience, the ability to develop
and foster relationships, and so much more.
Steve Wach has all of those attributes. Wach is a father of three in
Winnipeg and president of the Corydon Community Centre. He oversees U7 and
U9 programs at the centre and, during the 2022-23 season, coached three
teams – as head coach of U7 and U9 teams, and an assistant coach on a U11
Busy? You bet, but Wach wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s proud to be
able to witness, firsthand, the tremendous impact community involvement has
on kids in the Manitoba capital.
“We’re very fortunate to live in an area that has a rink. We have a rink
that’s over 60 years old in our community centre and it is the central hub
of the community,” says Wach. “We run a lot of programming out of there
with a lot of kids involved with all sorts of skill levels. Some kids are
striving to become as good as they possibly can be, while some kids and
parents are at the stage of ‘Let’s give hockey a shot.’ There’s a great
community aspect to it and we get a lot of people involved who either
wouldn’t have traditionally been involved in hockey or wouldn’t have been
“We’ve been successful in getting a big volunteer base, so it does have
excellent community feel, with family and friends who do it.”
Wach has a pretty typical Canadian story, having played minor hockey
through the A, AA and AAA ranks, while also playing for his high school
team. He continues to get on the ice with friends in a local league.
He and wife Chrissy have three kids – nine-year-old Edward, eight-year-old
Matthew and six-year-old Anna. All three play hockey, along with other
sports including baseball and soccer.
Wach got involved in coaching hockey as an assistant with Edward’s U7 team
a few years ago and, since then, has taken on a variety of roles on teams,
including head and assistant coach, but also overseeing hockey programming
for the community centre and trying to get more volunteers to take on the
many roles that are needed to put on successful sports seasons.
Any coach will tell you they have their beliefs and philosophies, and Wach
strikes a balance between a focus on technical skills and ensuring the name
of the game – FUN – are both attained.
“One of the most important things we try to bring forward, we can be very
competitive without being overly serious about it,” Wach says. “We can come
out and teach the kids to work hard, build towards something, take that
long view, build up the team effort and compete to play as hard as you can
and have as much fun as you can but to do that without being serious about
it. When I say serious, you’re doing it to be the best you can but you’re
doing it realizing what it is – and it’s still minor hockey and it’s still
seven-, eight-, nine-year-olds.”
Wach is quick to continuously point out that many in the Corydon community
contribute to the success of the hockey programming offered there; he is
perhaps most proud of the fact that many new families to hockey – and many
new families to Canada – are given the opportunity to have get their kids
in the game.
He also notes that he isn’t the best coach in the family, with that title
going to Chrissy, whose background playing collegiate soccer in the United
States led her to become a physical education teacher who also coaches a
variety of high school sports – track and field, badminton and volleyball,
just to name a few.
Between their parents, the Wach kids are in good hands, as are the
countless minor hockey players and athletes in their part of Winnipeg.