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Troy Youth Hockey Strives for Excellence

By Mike Scandura - Special to USAHockey.com, 09/28/16, 8:00AM MDT

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Michigan association sees success through USA Hockey’s Club Excellence program

Troy Youth Hockey Association President Dan Jaroshewich has a succinct way of describing the benefits of USA Hockey’s new Club Excellence program.

“You could call it a one-stop shop for hockey people,” said Jaroshewich.

Club Excellence is an online portal system that’s designed to give USA Hockey associations a unique resource center to drive organizational success.

The portal walks youth hockey leadership through the day-to-day needs of running a successful youth hockey association.

“It has kept us on track,” said Jaroshewich. “What do you need to do during the preseason to get ready for the regular season? It’ll show you, step by step. It also provides all of our coaches with practice plans, including goaltending-specific resources.

“From a financial perspective, it’s helped our treasurer meet his financial obligations. For a president, it helps you lead your organization from the beginning of the season to the end of the season. I’ve been on this since May and still haven’t had time to see everything it has to offer.”

TYHA, which is a northern Detroit suburb, was one of the 40 associations that contributed to the creation of the Club Excellence program.

“We started using it before it launched in June,” said Jaroshewich. “I think Club Excellence is a great navigational tool. Associations would prosper from using Club Excellence.”

The system should be a major benefit to TYHA, considering that the association fields 14 youth travel teams, five Lady Sting teams and nine house league teams.

Add up the numbers and a total of 475 kids are involved in the various programs.

“We get one or two registrations a day,” said Jaroshewich. “My coaches run a good program. We do a lot of shared-ice programs and keep the cost down for parents.

“We’ve been around since 1996. The coaches draw players because they’re good coaches and we have a good instructional program called the Future Wings. Our intent is to get them from instructional to 8U to travel.”

Jaroshewich was adamant that credit should go to Beth Babbie and Dave Jarvie for helping establish the Lady Sting.

“Our girls, when they were on 12U teams, wanted to play on all-girls teams,” said Jaroshewich. “That’s why we started the girls’ program four years ago.

“Beth Babbie was the one who provided the impetus for starting a girls program in Troy. She got the program up and running with one team and now we have five. This year, we have everything from 10U to 19U.”

Jarvie’s 10U Tier II and III teams captured 2015 Michigan state championships.

“Dave has helped Beth the last two years and done a marvelous job,” said Jaroshewich. “Just looking at their state championships is one indication of how well he’s developed these kids.”

Besides adding the Lady Sting, TYHA also has embraced USA Hockey’s American Development Model.

“It’s benefitted us in various ways in terms of skating ability, their puck control and the number of times they touch the puck,” said Jaroshewich.

“The skating drills in the ADM also help them improve, and they learn, efficiently, how to catch a pass.”

Jaroshewich also noted how the ADM benefits Troy’s coaches.

“Every Wednesday we have an ADM director who runs a practice and the coaches pick up on that,” he said. “On the weekend, the coaches will use those drills.”

TYHA will put itself through the paces with a series of big events next April.

That’s when the association will host the Toyota-USA Hockey Girls Tier II National Championships at the Troy Sports Center, and the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Women’s World Championship at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth.

“The last time we hosted nationals, in 2015 with 18-and-under, the economic impact for the city of Troy was $4 million,” said Jaroshewich. “We put on a great tournament and we do it for the kids.

“We’re looking forward to doing it again next year and helping USA Hockey with the (IIHF) Women’s World Championship.”

NOTE: More information about USA Hockey’s Club Excellence program can be found here.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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