COACHES up and down the country converged on Dundee at the weekend to learn about the basic skills of teaching and it was a big success.
The entire junior programme and all bar one SNL game was scrapped for the weekend as Hockey Canada’s Corey McNabb and Bob Caldwell delivered their thoughts on the subject.
All in, over 100 coaches attended, which was organised by SIH coaches Steven Lynch, Jim Watson and Barry Carnegie as all guests looked to improve their own skills.
And according to Carnegie, the head coach at Aberdeen Lynx, the feedback has been positive and he praised the two Canadian guests who added a great deal of gravitas to the event.
He said: “I think it was a huge success and I think from an organisational standpoint Steven, Jim and myself couldn’t have hoped for any better.
“We have received feedback from a few coaches off their own back and it has all been positive. The seminar content really struck a chord and the message from the biggest hockey nation was one of support and collaboration.
“Both Bob and Corey went to some length to reassure us that any issues we encounter through coaching were one that they have to handle, albeit on a much larger scale.”
“Their willingness to share knowledge and resources with coaches in a tiny hockey country like ourselves was a measure of their class.
“These guys are professional and were quick to put across a simple sport which we maybe are guilty of over-complicating at times.”
“From there, we should thank Bob and Corey for coming over as well as Neil Craik, Duncan Shearer and the staff at Dundee Ice Arena for helping us before, during and after the event.
“Also we must thank David Hand and Scottish Ice Hockey for their guidance, support and assistance. Our guests were blown away by the enthusiasm of our coaches and the sheer numbers in attendance.”
Coaches can expect to receive a feedback survey in the coming days to get their views and according to Carnegie, will help decide the content of the next seminar.
One of the coaches who attended is Fife U20s and Great Britain U16 assistant coach Scott Plews, who admitted he enjoyed it for more than expected.
And he believes the content can go a long way to helping produce the stars of the Scottish and British game in the future and has put the onus on the coaches to deliver that.
Plews said: “The last seminar in Edinburgh was excellent last year so I didn’t expect this one to reach that kind of level.
“In terms of looking at it on a longer term, it’s huge if it can produce the players, but it will only be noticed if the governing body would allow a head coach to ensure the changes are being applied.
“Thousands has been spent over many years but still our International scene is being left behind by the countries of the same size.
“We are just not implementing a structure throughout the country. While it’s okay having seminars, the coaches have to be held accountable for following up on what we are being taught.
“I tend to go into these things with hope and after a slow start, it definitely ticked all the boxes and as coaches, we gained massive experience and we have to put what we learn into practice.
“More seminars like these would definitely be a good thing and when you have the chance to listen to the best in the world it can only be a positive thing.”
SIH Chairman David Hand also praised the success of the seminar and the organisation involved and was pleased to see everyone come together for such an important weekend.
He said: “It was a great weekend and I want to extend my thanks to Steven, Jim and Barry for their excellent work and on behalf of the SIH, I want to thank Corey and Bob for coming and sharing their wisdom.
“For the first time ever, we were able to bring together the coaches and officials to discuss how both can improve and this was a huge step in the development of our game.
“I look forward to more events like this which will hopefully become a stable part of the growth of ice hockey in Scotland.”