skip navigation

The Three Pillars of a Hockey Factory

By Aaron Wilbur, The Coaches Site, 01/28/23, 11:15AM EST


What coaches and associations can apply right away

He’s spoken with Hockey Hall of Famers from across the globe. Some of the best players to ever lace up skates. All to find out what makes each’s country’s development system so unique – and taking the best practices from them all to create a hockey factory.

Matt Dumochelle is the Assistant General Manager with the Leamington Flyers of the GOJHL and the author of The Coaches Site’s Hockey Factories, a unique look behind the curtain of some of the globe’s top hockey development programs. The series allows hockey fans to step into the rooms where Sidney Crosby, Leon Draisaitl, Rasmus Dahlin and hundreds of others who got their starts and developed into some of the brightest stars in the NHL.

It dives into how these programs set their players up for success throughout their development, what coaching strategies they use to get the best out of their kids and how they work on not just creating great players, but also great people. They travel to Minnesota, British Columbia, Germany, Finland and Sweden to see how these programs are doing it right.

Dumochelle has found that associations are very open to sharing information to help improve the game across the globe. The best organizations, he says, have an open book attitude when it comes to development.

“This is as much about developing coaches as it is players. When you really get down to it, the coaches are what makes this work. You can have a brilliant philosophy, reinvent the game of hockey, but if the people communicating that message aren’t the right people or believe something differently, it isn’t going to work.”

The single biggest influence on a child’s experience in hockey is their coach. He’s broken down the three main pillars of a ‘hockey factory’ and how coaches and associations can apply them right away. And they are all free.

  1. Communication: how we communicate as an Association to each other and the players, providing support, the verbiage that we use, how we explain drills
  2. Defining Success: how much do you want to focus on development vs. winning, having kids and coaches return every year
  3. Instilling the Love of the Game: players love hockey but shouldn’t have to view it as work, creating lessons and memories along the way

For continuity, Dumochelle suggests that Associations hold meetings with all of their coaches at the same time to create a brainstorm session. They can discuss what’s been working and what hasn’t, and how to ensure the growth from one age group to the next year over year.

Like this article?

Share with your friends on Facebook and join the largest network of hockey parents.

Aaron wilbur element view


Aaron is the Founder and CEO of The Coaches Site, the #1 online resource for hockey coaches, and also the host of the Glass & Out podcast. He is married with two boys, believes Major League is the best sports movie of all-time, is scared of heights and is mildly obsessed with the Alabama Crimson Tide football program.

you may also like