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, Terry Desharnais of the Gananoque U13 HL team was selected as the Coach of the Month for December.
Here's his story as told by his nomination:
There are many reasons that make him a phenomenal coach. Being a house league team we have many kids at different levels of ability. Kids on the stronger side of hockey skills, he tries to build them up as leaders. Hockey practice as a parent may be my favourite thing to watch. Terry has his drills planned out that ahead of time, based on last weeks game play. He makes drills that are suited for all skill levels and fun. And if its not fun he gets in there and does it will them. He never gives a drill he is not willing to do himself.
Terry also gives our kids more than hockey skills, he is teaching them inclusion and respect. We have two girls on our hockey team, so he asks all players to be ready 10 min before the game so that the girls can come into the change room for the pre-game & post-game talk. He wants all players to feel like they are part of the team. On our team we have kids that have some different struggles in life such as, Autism, depression and Speech impediments but Terry always shows patience and may take a different coaching approach to each individual child. One may need the hard truth "Hey you got to hustle out there I know you got it in you" to "Wow I see you trying if we keep working and we will get there".
I know the kids love having him as a coach. The boys begged me to stay to watch Coach Terry play (pick-up hockey). They were the only ones in the stands cheering, and you know they listen to there coaches because from the stands the boys were yelling "don't pass in front of the net" "Come on hustle give your man someone to pass to" and when his team scored they cheered sooo loud the other team of "old guy hockey" asked Terry who are those kids. He told them "oh just my Hockey Team, I'm there coach."
All of this and he doesn't even have a kid on the team, he is doing this because he found out that without a coach we wouldn't have had a team so he stepped up and donated his time. Terry believes in the benefit Minor Hockey give our kids. We are so lucky to have him and our kids think so to.