Throughout the season we asked for nominations for the OMHA Coach of the Month presented by The Coaches Site.
After much deliberation, Kevin Hackson of the Osprey Hawks Atom LL team was selected as the Coach of the Month for March, the final choice for the 2017-18 season.
Here's his story as told by his nomination:
“Kevin has great passion for the game of hockey, and takes great pride in the development of our young players. His coaching mentality is that of promoting hard-work and team play, and not just “winning”. He comments before almost every game - “I don’t care if you win the game, I just want you to be the hardest working team on the ice today and have fun while doing it.”
Kevin understands the different personalities of the players on our team, and has a way of adapting his coaching style to suit each player. Kevin is very approachable, and all of our young players feel comfortable on the ice, under his direction.
Kevin is committed to the development of players at even the most introductory skill level. This commitment has resonated onto our entire team. We are a small centre, based out of Osprey Community Arena, in Feversham. As an organization, we are always slightly behind other centres, as our ice doesn’t typically go in until after the Thanksgiving weekend—nearly a month after other centres are already on the ice. Kevin recognized this setback, and offered off-ice dryland training to the team players, so that could begin to physically prepare for the on-ice training program. The players appreciated this greatly and looked forward to attending each week.”
It was a few things. The big one that still gives me a kick is just seeing the development from the beginning to the end of the season and now from year to year how much these kids have developed... And just the fun. I’ve got four kids, I love kids and it’s a lot of fun working with them. I get to go out there and be a kid and to play a game I never got to play as a kid too, that’s a lot of fun for me. I just love being on the ice.
I just love the game of hockey. When I’m out there, I’m having a good time, I enjoy skating and working hard. I feel like the kids see that and they want to make their parents proud, they want to make their coach proud like they would for a teacher or something like that. I hope so. It’s kind of one of my things, I want to inspire kids to do their best and have fun.
I try to find drills and things that are fun and teach them something and trying not to just get them skating lines or laps. We always try to do something fun either at the beginning or end. Our group loves the game Bulldog, it’s kind of like tag. We did that a lot. For me, they’re skating hard and they’re trying, they’ve got to keep their head up and there’s other elements in part of that… When they’re skating lines or laps, they don’t try too hard but with this, they’re having fun. It’s trying to keep a balance so that their skill develops but it’s also trying to keep it fun and light. Sometimes stuff works and sometimes it doesn’t.
What I say to the kids is you may not be able to do this drill but I want you to try your best. For me, I don’t care so much about the scoreboard or how many wins we get, we want to do well and we want to be competitive, but the thrill for me is I want to see the kids bring their best, whatever their one hundred percent is, I want them to bring that.
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