BUFFALO, N.Y. – As four NCAA teams entered the 2019 NCAA Frozen Four with a chance to be crowned national champions, USA Hockey's Coaches Section and ADM staff held meetings to discuss and update USA Hockey's Coaching Education Program curriculum.
The combined meeting between the Coaches Section and the ADM Regional Managers came about after a discussion at the USA Hockey Winter Meetings earlier this year. The goal of having both sections come together is to revisit the curriculum and explore its successes as well as how it can be improved.
The timing couldn’t be better, as USA Hockey will see the 2019-20 season celebrate the 10th anniversary of its successful American Development Model.
“It was a great opportunity to gather our two groups and discuss USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program (CEP) as a whole,” said USA Hockey’s Director of the CEP, Mark Tabrum. “We are always striving to improve our curriculum as well as create a positive environment for our coaches. Adult learning has changed over time, and we want to be at the forefront of our program.”
USA Hockey Coach-in-Chief, Mike MacMillan, echoed Tabrum’s thoughts.
“It’s been exciting and fun to watch the USA Hockey Coaches in Chief and ADM regional managers get together to work on reshaping our CEP curriculum for Levels 1-3 to enhance the experience of coaches in our country. It is so important to continually better every coach, as they are the real player development coaches.”
Both the Coaches In Chief, as well as the ADM regional managers, are spread throughout the country, making their time together at meetings like this all the more valuable. One of USA Hockey’s coach-in-chief is none other than Christian Koelling, director of hockey operations for the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs who will appear in their third-straight NCAA national championship game. Koelling and the Bulldogs will face Massachusetts on Saturday at 8pm ET on ESPN2. A win would make the Bulldogs the first team to win back-to-back NCAA championships since Denver in 2004-05.
“I think it’s really about the delivery, and making our clinics more interactive,” said Tabrum. “It’s about getting the participants to interact, engage, and learn through discussion. We’re taking a 30,000-foot look at what we’re doing and considering what we need to tweak, what we need to change, what we need to pull out of a clinic and put into the age-specific modules? What do we need to prioritize?”
Throughout the course of the weekend, multiple members of the Coaches Section and ADM regional managers presented on areas that the group would like to improve upon. It began by reviewing the 2018 curriculum with topics ranging from responsibilities in coaching, defining roles on the ice, and off- and on-ice training. Everyone in attendance got to break up into groups to have smaller discussions.
“(ADM Regional Manager) Bob Mancini presented on ‘What is the ADM?” said MacMillan. “He presented it differently in small groups with more interaction, which was exciting in itself. It was interactive, and it was done age-specifically as well.”
After each day, the group came back together to discuss how to further integrate the strategies that were talked about throughout the day, along with an opportunity for reflection on further implementing these strategies over the course of the season.
MacMillan said that the goal is to not only make the coaching clinics better than before, but also make sure that when the coach leaves that clinic they have had a fun, great experience that they can take with them throughout the course of the year to coach their players.
“I think the difference this time is jointly doing it with the ADM regional managers. We’re in the room together working collaboratively to hopefully provide a product that we already consider the gold standard, but that’s not good enough and we want to make it better.”