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Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Hockey Director
Certification Program at the North American Rink Conference & Expo
(NARCE) in Columbus, Ohio. The Hockey Director Certification Program is
offered by USA Hockey and is instructed by ADM Regional Managers and
other USA Hockey staff over 3 ½ days involving classroom, off-ice and
on-ice training and education.
The Certification Program had over 70 hockey directors or administrators from across the USA and included international participants from several European countries. In 2016, the United States had 309,748 youth players, second in the world behind Canada (455,000). For perspective, the 70 plus participants impacted approximately 30,000 youth players in the USA, with KOHA representing about 700 of those players. With that said, our class would impact more youth hockey players than the coaches of the Czech Republic (26,551) and slightly less than the coaches in Finland (36,607).
As you can understand, the significance of the course offers a direct correlation to growing the game, developing players, helping youngsters become leaders – even Olympians, and connecting the game at every level while promoting a lifelong love of the sport.
I have attended countless hockey and coaching education clinics, seminars, symposiums, and summits. The Hockey Director Certification Program ranks as one of my all-time favorites!
I would like to share a few of the takeaways and how that will drive what our association will focus on this upcoming season: