MNGophers29 wrote:So I am coaching my son's Termite team this year, I was kind of roped into it, but turns out I like being out there with the kids, talking to them, helping them learn the game and seeing them get better each week.
My question is if I end up wanting to continue coaching, from what I am finding out, I have to go and take a bunch of certification classes through USA hockey. While I understand the need for some consistency, I think most of it is a joke, especially having every single practice mapped out...with dumb drills. Kids don't really need to stick handle a tire with they are 5 & 6.
Is there any point when you don't have to take these courses in order to coach? While I don't necessarily need to follow my son, the idea of coaching Squirt, Peewee or a Bantam team is appealing to me.
Frightrain nailed the basic current rule structure. I have my Level 2 and coach both my boys squirt and mite teams and am involved with our local association. You only need to take one clinic a year, and we're lucky that with all the hockey in our area(at least for me living in the Twin Cities) they have a bunch of dates from Sep,. to Dec. each year for each level at different locations around town- with any sort of planning you should be able to get to one. To also add some background to what to he said is the reason that we all have to do these Coaching Education Clinics and online modules each year involves the relationship between your local hockey association, Minnesota Hockey, and in turn the one calling all the shots - USA Hockey. USA Hockey makes policy, and provides a lot of the funding to , in our case, Minnesota Hockey, who is the governing body for our state. As part of membership to Minnesota Hockey, associations are instructed to follow USA Hockey policy......probably since that's where a good chunk of the funding comes from.
With that said, local associations realize they don't want to scare away potential coaches who are just starting, so they (rightfully) allow coaches like you to be on the ice without your certification. Your kids are not yet of the age that they are traveling to out of town tourneys where coaching credentials come into play, or are in competitive situations, etc.... so it ends up being a non-issue. Not only that that but your local assoc. also probably realizes that some kids that age just need mom or dad around.....so as long as you have a helmet you can be out there.
Don't give up on coaching yet - I grew up around the game and thought exactly as you 6 years ago when my oldest started but I have changed my tune and I use the tools that USA hockey provides online all the time - which requires a coaching certification to gain access to. You referenced the practice plans - make sure the ones you are using are designated for that age. The ones I use for mites from USA Hockey are mostly drills (stations) like playing tag, keep away, obstacle courses, skate around the cones, kick a soccer ball, etc, - very age specific stuff. Mites (or for sure termites)probably should not be doing much with pucks and stickhandling. Also, there's nothing that mandates that you have to use all those drills every practice - you can do what you want but you have access to them when you need them. I use them all the time - no matter how much you know the game when you are on the ice 5 nights a week you run out of ideas to keep things fresh for kids. I'm on the USA Hockey website a couple of times a week during the season looking for fun drills and ideas for the kids to do - I'm sure I would not be as good a coach if I didn't utilize what they offer.