The Chestermere Lakers PeeWee AA program is in the market for a new head coach for the 2017/2018 season.
The application period ended July 15. Now Lakers AA Director Lynn Butters has the task of sifting through the applications and choosing the programs next coach.
“Ideally I am looking for someone who has experience in coaching, is even tempered, understands that while this is the start of elite hockey and the players need to learn different approaches, discipline, and how to take constructive criticism, they are still young and need to have fun while doing all of this,” she said.
Coaching kids, especially at the start of their sports careers can be immensely rewarding. This is especially true of for former players looking to give back to the game.
“The rewards are seeing young people achieve a goal they have set, watching them grow as individuals both on and off the ice, knowing that you may have been a small part in giving them a passion to play this sport,” said Butters.
The rewarding work balances out the long hours that the coaches put in during the hockey season.
“Some of the pros are working with young people and being a part of their energy, seeing the changes they make in their hockey development and lives, being part of the hockey community and meeting many good people.
“Some of the cons are the time commitment, lots of time away from home, not all people you will be involved with are positive, depending on the team it can seem like a long season at times,” she said.
Coaching at any level requires a large commitment on the part of the coaching staff.
Not only do coaches attend all games and practices but they also have to plan practices and game strategy.
“There is a large time commitment from a coach at this level,” said Butters, “practice preparation on what drills will be taught, on ice practice twice a week, game preparation, one to two games a week plus travel as we play all over southern Alberta, off ice conditioning time slots (usually once a week), meetings with players, parents, other coaching staff, just to name a few weekly items.”
In addition to the opportunity to give back to the sport and mentor young players, it is common for people to kick off their coaching career by starting at the PeeWee level.
“At this level, the Head Coach position is sometimes used to gain experience and move forward with hockey and Coaching as a full-time position and how many make their living,” said Butters.
While there is not much monetary compensation for the coaching staff, coaches do get honourariums, paid coaching certification upgrades and subsidized specialty clinics.
Applicants needed to meet the Hockey Canada/Alberta AA Hockey Coach criteria.
“I would like to see the person have some prior coaching experience as either a Head Coach or Assistant Coach,” said Butters.