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Get to Know November's Coach of the Month

By The Coaches Site, 11/24/22, 12:45PM EST


Coach of the Month presented by The Coaches Site

Coach Brian (top row, middle) with his U13 LL team last season.

This season marks the sixth year of the OMHA Coach of the Month presented by The Coaches Site. We asked for nominations of deserving coaches and after much deliberation, Brian Vines of the Minto U15 LL team was selected as the Coach of the Month for November.

Here's his story as told by his nomination:

Coach Vinesy is like no other coach my son has ever had and we are thrilled to have him back this year. Brian is a non-parent coach which makes him a special breed. He's truly out there for the love of the game and that is projected onto each player he's ever coached.

He is never without a smile on his face and an encouraging word. No matter the outcome of the game those kids leave the dressing room with a smile on their face, happy with what went right even if the score didn't reflect it.

His main goal each season is first and foremost to make sure the players learn to win with class and to lose with grace. When Vinesy coaches he is all in, he has never once phoned it in. He truly deserves this award every month not just once.

Coach Brian grew up playing hockey for a rural team in Kurtzville, Ontario and still enjoys plays mens league. He started coaching minor hockey in Minto after a friend asked if he'd be interested in being an assistant coach. He started with U9 in 2018 and became head coach last season at U13. He has stuck with the group to today as head coach, where they are now playing U15.

You’re a non-parent coach – what motivates you to stay in the game and give back in this way?

My love for the game and seeing the kids flourish is such a reward. Each player has their own special talents but I strive on seeing them improve as individuals as well as a team. As a non-parent coach I am not partial to any certain player and I respect all of the kids equally.

What are some of the lessons you try to teach your players through hockey?

I believe good sportsmanship and respect are two very important aspects of a successful team. I like to keep the practices upbeat and a little challenging. I have done time trials at the beginning of the season and will do them again at the end to show them their improvement. I am a positive person and I strive to help them have good values so they can be upstanding young citizens on and off the ice. I enjoy seeing their enthusiasm whether it be a win or loss, I try keeping a smile on their face.

How do you keep a group of U15 players focused over the season?

I find team bonding to be very crucial in hockey. At the beginning of the season I treated the team to a hockey camp to create a team bond. In December, my wife and I have rented the local theatre for a Holiday get-together with all family members invited. We are booked in tournaments where the kids can play hockey but also have fun using the hotel amenities. I feel a good rapport with the parents is so important and I appreciate their support.  

I have a wonderful team staff: Carla VanSickle Manager, Chuck Ellison Assistant Coach, Nick Reynolds Assistant Coach, Pam More Trainer, Tim Thalen Parent Liason.  I appreciate all of their hard work and interest in the team.


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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