The Regroup | Quotes From Coaches at the AHCA Convention

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Last week the team at The Coaches Site travelled to Naples, Florida for the American Hockey Coaches of America’s Coaching Convention. The event is used by NCAA hockey coaches across the country to connect and grow their game. The Coaches Site takes part by hosting a speaker series. These presenters are some of the brightest minds in the game – this year’s edition featured Jay Woodcroft, Assistant Coach of the Edmonton Oilers up until an hour prior to his presentation, when he was announced as the new Head Coach of the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors. Florida Panthers Skills Coach Paul Vincent also spoke, and The Coaches Site Founder Aaron Wilbur hosted a Q&A with Florida Panthers Associate Coach Jack Capuano.

The Regroup is a weekly collection of content from The Coaches Site.

Full videos from those presentations will be available shortly for TCS subscribers, but in the meantime, there were plenty of other helpful tips, tricks, and advice available.

The Best Quotes on the Floor of the AHCA Convention

Paul Vincent, Florida Panthers Skills Coach, on expectations of players: “Show up. Work hard. Try your best. It’s not hard to recognize, but it can be hard to do. I tell my players, if you don’t quit on yourself, then your coaches will never, ever quit on you.”

Dave Smith, Head Coach Men’s Hockey, RPI, on culture in the dressing room: “It’s about personnel. Do we have the right people? Can we modify our behaviour? Do we need to? The hardest thing to measure is mindset, but that’s what we’re establishing every day – a work ethic and a personality.”

Rico Blasi, Head Coach University of Miami Ohio, President of AHCA: “It’s about building that culture with everyone you come in contact with. That culture is what helps find people who want to support the hockey program.”

Michael Donaghue, Director of Performance, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Athletic Performance Training: “It’s amazing what happens to the mood of your group when they think they’re showing up for a workout or normal practice, and you announce they’re going paddle boarding instead. Do something completely different. Mix it up. You can only put so much gas in a car, so polish the wheels instead.”

Paul Vincent on Lee Stempniak: “You knew he was special because when he’d screw up he’d go back and do it again. No one had to tell him.”

Dave Smith: “The moral compass is critical. We love speed, skill, and compete as much as everyone, but we really put on an emphasis on the character and how personalities will fit in.”

Paul Vincent: “It’s great if you can stickhandle in a phone booth, but you have to stickhandle your way out of that phone booth at some point too.”

Michael Donaghue: “Be the best day one coach possible.”

Dave Smith on the definition of playing fast: “It’s the hands and how quickly you move the puck. And then how quickly you skate. But they both come back to instincts and the mindset.”

Rico Blasi: “Our job as coaches is creating an environment where players feel as comfortable as possible and aren’t distracted.”


From last week, in case you missed it…

Passing Kelvin Cech The Art of Ice Hockey Coach tips and drillsScott: The Forgotten Art of Hockey’s Most Important Skill: Passing





1on1 Progression Drill of the Week Coachthem Ice Hockey Mike WeaverCoachThem Drill of the Week: 1on1 Progression





RPI Men’s Hockey Head Coach Dave Smith: Interview from the AHCA Convention





Mike Pickles Injuries on Ice Hockey tips and Drills
Pickles: 5 Tips For Preventing Injuries






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