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November's Coach of the Month Revealed

By The Coaches Site, 11/23/21, 10:00AM EST


Coach of the Month presented by The Coaches Site

Clark is second from the right in the back row.

This season marks the fifth year of the OMHA Coach of the Month presented by The Coaches Site. We asked for nominations of deserving coaches and after much deliberation, Ryan Clark of the Barrie U15 Teal team was selected as the Coach of the Month for November.

Here's his story as told by his nomination:

Ryan as a coach emphasizes fair play, team spirit and building his players up. He works diligently at coaching players on drills and makes sure that players that need additional help or instruction are tended to by his coaching staff so they can thrive as players on the team. Ryan believes that happy players are productive players and able to focus on learning drills and bringing their knowledge into game play.

Ryan is a fair coach who never bases time on the ice by skill or friendship, he treats every player with the same respect. Ryan is a coach that constantly communicates with his staff, players and parents of players. He is focused on the fundamentals of hockey and helping each player reach their full potential on and off the ice.

It is obvious that Ryan loves being a coach and wants his players to be there best selves on and off the rink. He definitely deserves the recognition for everything he does as a volunteer and coach in our BMHA community.

Coach Ryan played minor hockey and made some of my lifelong friends during those years. He wants his kids to have the same positive experience and eventually signed them up in Barrie Minor Hockey. In working with his son he realized he wanted to become a coach and started off as an assistant before becoming a head coach.

How are some of the ways you emphasize skill development on your team?

I wanted to be a coach who slowed things down to help kids learn and understand why they are being asked to do certain things. This is part of my approach to development. Learn how to do something right and then learn how to do it fast(er). Also, because I have always coached house league and there is a often a large disparity in terms of skill between players progressions are extremely important.  

  • Being able to tailor drills that everyone can understand and engage in.
  • Being able to focus on the process and not results can be more motivating for a lot of recreational hockey players and often leads to more individual improvement and cohesive team play. Success cannot be measured solely by wins and losses. You can make huge gains and still lose hockey games. 

Why is communication with your parents and players so important?

Communication with players and parents is paramount. I believe part of the coach’s primary responsibility is to foster collaboration between players as well as between coaches and the entire team. Collaboration is important for large tasks to be broken down into smaller tasks (ex. making sure each player knows what they are responsible for and how to accomplish it). It also makes coaches, players and parents accountable to the team and each other. I try to accomplish this by being as welcoming and approachable as possible by ensuring that I explain my decision making and thought process. 

Why is it important to you to volunteer and be a coach in your community?

Being a volunteer in my community is important because I want to set as positive an example as possible for young hockey players. Furthermore, because parents are trusting me with their children I hold myself personally accountable to them by being as positive as possible and owning up to mistakes or oversights when they happen. Lastly, I wholeheartedly enjoy being able to share my passion for hockey with young people to hopefully inspire that same passion within them. 


Please note that all previous submissions are still eligible for upcoming Coach of the Month awards and do not need to be resubmitted.

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The Coaches Site is comprised of individuals who have first hand experience in hockey as players, coaches, managers and parents from minor hockey, to junior hockey, international competition and all the way to the NHL. The Coaches Site offers a platform that supports coaches and a positive competitive culture at rinks around the world.

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