Where do the top coaches in North America go to get the latest information on hockey? For the last 22 years they have been making the annual trek to the University of Windsor on the second weekend of June for the Roger Neilson Coaches Clinic.
This year 12 members of the Huron Perth Lakers attended the conference which featured such speakers as John Stevens of the Philadelphia Flyers, Barry Trotz of the Nashville Predators and Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals.
Each coach came away with a ton of new drills and systems. Barry Smith, who coaches the Kamloops Blazers in the Western Hockey League, did an excellent on-ice presentation on how to develop scoring with a series of simple but challenging drills.
And while many of the presentations dealt with the x's and o's of hockey, this year's clinic also had some excellent presentations on the mental side of the game. Eric Hoffberg, who works with large companies in the United States and coached NCAA hockey, inspired the group with his ideas on creating a winning culture. Sports psychologist Dr. Saul Miller of Vancouver, who has worked with former Laker Kurtis Bartliff, had 9 keys to team success and tips on coaching the mental game of goaltending. He claims it is possible ... who knew!
Among some of the other faces seen at the clinic: Dave McIlwain and Rem Murray, the Kincardine Bulldogs and Hanover Barons coaching staffs and Guelph Storm assistant coach Chris Hajt.
The participation of the Lakers coaches in this conference is part of the Lakers organization's strategy to invest in and develop our coaches.
Barry Trotz (centre) with the Lakers coaches at the conference
submitted by Scott Pettigrew, Assistant Coach, Minor Bantam team