Kyle Callaghan is taking the next steps in his coaching journey.
The head coach of the Brampton 45’s 2008 AAA team, Callaghan was recently named to the NHL Coaches Association BIPOC Coaches Program. The Program is an initiative that aims to specifically support black, indigenous and coaches of colour in several areas including skills development, leadership strategies, communication tactics, networking, and career advancement opportunities.
One of the NHL Coaches’ Association’s primary objectives is to help in the development of all hockey coaches from the minor level up to the highest levels with the belief that coaches are important leaders within their communities, serving as role models at every level of the game.
With the support of NHL coaches and in collaboration with the NHL, Callaghan was selected as one of the inaugural participants of the program.
Through his years of playing and teaching hockey, Kyle has developed a very thorough understanding and deep passion for the game of hockey. This same passion has driven him to not only help his students become better hockey players; but to become exceptional and contributing members of society.
“I would probably say I'm a player's coach. I'm not one to stand still and draw on a whiteboard the entire time,” said Callaghan. “My strength was creating personal relationships with the kids – if that meant pulling them to the side and holding his hand or holding his foot in a certain position so he can understand it. That was my strength. And I think that's what's kind of served me so well.”
Callaghan began playing house league hockey in Brampton before eventually finding himself playing Junior in Thunder Bay. While he didn’t originally want to become a coach, Callaghan started as a Skate Instructor with City of Brampton as a part-time job. One of the parents of a participant in the program asked if he was interested in helping out on the team’s bench and he gained experience and climbed the coaching ladder from there.
“I think growing up in the world today now and seeing what the kids have to go to through and also be able to realize how the kids look up to me at certain times. That feeling alone was the coolest feeling in the world to me. So, to me, coaching has become a part of my yearly routine.”
After coming across a post on social media about the NHLCA BIPOC program, he connected with the organizers and has since described it as one of the coolest experiences he’s had as a coach.
The resource program connects coaches to have personal conversations ranging from a shared passion for the game to tactics and development.
Callaghan realizes the opportunity that this program could provide for his future.
“For me, understanding why the coaches were doing the type of systems that they were was very important. Just from my first meeting alone, I've got ideas shooting out of my head like crazy, because with the pandemic we can't do much, but there's an eagerness to get back so I can start doing those things.”
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