Dolphins Coach’s Corner – Derek Allen

Derek Allen – Coach’s Corner February 2016 – Atom AA

I have been coaching within the Etobicoke Dolphins organization for six years and competitive girls’ hockey for three years in the novice through atom age groups in the A and AA categories. I have two daughters in hockey: Paige, who is completing her second year at atom AA with the Dolphins, and Mackenzie (“Mack”), who is completing her second year at Novice A. My youngest, three-year-old Adelaide, slapped on the blades for the first time this year, and has been obsessed with goalies (sigh). My lovely wife, Jennifer, affectionately tolerates our family’s hockey shenanigans and has been a convener, trainer and a manager, whilst managing me full time. By day we are civil litigators, although I try not to let my livelihood interfere with my real job of coaching girls’ rep hockey. For 2015-2016, I am excited to be co-coaching Mack’s atom BB team along with Kevin Dalton.

As a coach, I like to think that I am in the character-building business as much as I am helping a collection of players become a highly competitive team. I love hockey and I love winning, but the most enduring reward I derive from coaching is helping kids acquire the confidence, experience and knowledge needed to reach lofty goals through hard work, practice, planning, teamwork, perseverance and development of the physical and intellectual abilities required to play hockey. I believe that the accomplishments of players in competitive athletics can cultivate success throughout life and that in order to get a lot out of kids, a lot should be expected of them. These beliefs drive my passion for developing young athletes into skilled hockey players. I subscribe to the cliché that first the game must be fun. However, I interpret fun not only in the obvious sense, but more importantly as the lasting gratification that can be experienced by aspiring towards, then achieving, difficult to attain goals.

While not every young player will grow up to be a superstar on Team Canada, they can all learn what it takes to be high performers, leaders and great team members in whatever endeavours they undertake.

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If you are a player, trainer, coach or manager, we invite you to submit an article telling us your story. Please send your story to Erifili Morfidis

Previously: Coach’s Corner – Lara Gallager