Off the Glass with Kamloops Minor Hockey

By Tyler Hinds, lover of the soft chip and change (@THinds3)

Fresh off hosting Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada and a ProSmart Hockey Coaching Clinic, I caught up with George Cochrane, Head Coach for Kamloops Minor Hockey Association, to see how their association goes tape-to-tape. 

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I grew up playing minor hockey in… and my fondest memory was…

Neepawa, MB. Tournaments where we billeted out of town players or went out of town and were billeted. Made a lot of good friendships outside of our teams during those times.

I have been involved in minor hockey for __ years in the following roles…

18 years as a volunteer coach, board member, and now 10 years in my role of Head Coach with Kamloops Minor Hockey.

I was most proud to be the head coach of Kamloops Minor Hockey when…

I don’t think I can pinpoint one time. There have been many, most linked to seeing players develop as people and go on to do well outside of hockey after their minor hockey time has ended. Many of them have begun returning to coach in our Association because of the positive experience they had in their time with the Association.

The top challenges I face in my role are…

The time to be as many places as needed in a large association like we have. Not everybody gets the attention you would like due to our large numbers of players and teams.

The funniest moment of the season is when…

We were doing the Bauer First Shift program with brand new players and one of them yelled out “I’m doing it!” at one of the sessions. Not only was it funny but so great to hear that excitement in his voice at being successful.

The programs that have made the biggest difference to our volunteer coaches are…

The coaching resources that have become so much more comprehensive through technology. The ProSmart resource with its practice plans and drills to name one. Hockey Canada drill hub is another. These have helped alleviate the time it takes to put together plans and also gives coaches a better idea of how and what to teach.

A common theme in successful minor hockey coaches is…

Fun and development. Coaches make sure their players get better, but more importantly they make sure it’s a positive experience and the players have fun.  

My advice to a rookie coach stepping into minor hockey is…

Utilize the resources around you. Look for experienced people to help you. Ask questions every time you get an opportunity and find ways for others to support you.

The key attributes in the players emerging from Kamloops MHA going on to play junior, college, & pro hockey are…

We hope it’s that they work hard and are good people. We try to emphasize the foundational fundamentals at a young age that players need to succeed at those higher levels. Skate, think and compete are the 3 areas we try to instill in our players as they get older.

Breakaway opportunity right now, the move I would pull is…

Backhand deke.

Parents can best support their child’s hockey experience by…

Encouraging them to have fun and enjoy the game without the stress of pressure and unrealistic expectations.

The coach that deserves recognition for their exemplary effort in the development of grassroots hockey is…

Chris Murray. Chris really believes strongly in helping young players anyway that he can. He puts a lot of time and effort into supporting players here.

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