There has never been a doubt of Canadian hockey players' heart, but after losing in the Olympics in Nagano in 1998, Hockey Canada knew there had to be a bigger focus on the natural skill of Canadian hockey players.
After research and development a program was designed to help coaches and players focus on the skill development of Canada's future hockey stars.
Cue the Specialty Skills Clinic. Jason L'Heureux has been involved with the clinic for five years and works five to 10 clinics a year. Fortunately one of these clinics will be held in North Battleford later this month.
Oct. 15 to 17 players and coaches will have a chance to improve and apply what they have learned instantly.
Any coaches interested can join the coaching clinic for free. There are plenty of resources made available and on-ice training, but perhaps the most important part is the coaches can interact with each other and SHA and Hockey Canada instructors and learn new tactics and ideas for coaching.
"It is a platform to share ideas," said L'Heureux.
Not only will the coaches registered have a chance to discuss their coaching ideas, they will have a chance to implement some of those things the next day. The Saturday and Sunday part of the clinic involves players and coaches working together.
Players can register for one day for $75 or $125 for two days of training.
The players receive four on-ice sessions focusing on skating, puck handling, shooting and scoring and finally checking and small area games. The players will also be put through their paces off the ice with six sessions featuring two stick handling lessons, two multi-sports activities and two team building sessions.
The clinic gives the players the tools they need to hone a skill said L'Heureux. The belief is that it takes 10,000 hours or 10,000 shots to perfect a skill and through the Specialty Skills Clinic the players are given the knowledge of what it takes to become better hockey players while practising and playing and also putting in the time themselves.
The weekend action will take place at the Don Ross area and a minimum of 20 skaters are needed for the ice sessions.
To register as a coach or player check out sha.sk.ca and for more information those interested can contact L'Heureux at 445-6223.