Training Camp Exceptional Part 1: Schedules, volunteers & extras

Kelowna Rockets Training Camp

Kelvin Cech

Steady contributor in multiple roles over the years at the coaches site, former MJHL coach of the year with the Winkler Flyers and assistant coach with the UBC Thunderbirds Men's Hockey team.

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How you do one thing is how you do everything, so let's get off on the right foot.
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It’s almost September, meaning we’re very close to the sight of steam rising off the ice as the zamboni finishes its final lap and the sound of rambunctious players anxiously waiting to hit the ice. Farewell summer, hello hockey season!

As a previous head scout of mine used to repeat during multiple arguments about a prospective player’s chances of cracking the roster: “I’m just ready to watch hockey.” Amen to that.

This is the first in a series of six articles designed to help you run the most effective training camp possible. I’m going to avoid pandemic talk because this will be a series we can return to every summer, but I’d be irresponsible if I didn’t share some of the lessons I learned running a junior A spring camp during the height of the pandemic’s third wave. It became known as the Logistics Olympics. I’m proud of the work we did to pull it off, and the reaction from players and their parents afterwards means the time I spent arranging the details was worth it. I learned a lot and want to share lessons that can be applied to your camp.

Criteria

Contributors: I asked a range of coaches for their insights into each of the six sections.

  • Sven Butenschon: Head Coach, UBC Men’s Hockey (USports)
  • Scott Burt: Head Coach, Rapid City Rush (ECHL)
  • Kris Mallette: Head Coach, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
  • And myself, Kelvin Cech, former assistant coach with UBC Men’s hockey and Head Coach of the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers.

Age Groups

As the range of contributing coaches demonstrates, we made a distinction between training camp and tryouts. This series is generally intended for junior hockey and older, though many elements will no doubt apply to U18 and younger.

Content

Each post will cover the bones of training camp, from the planning, implementation, and fall-out. Hopefully you’ll get some inspiration or knowledge to help you run your next camp.

Ready? Here we go. Fail to plan, plan to fail.

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