Monday, July 14, 2008

NJ Wrap-Up

Finally, I made it out of NJ in one piece, unscathed... though I think some people wanted to kill me for doing 60mph in a 55 zone; how dare I!? I really do feel that NJ is just a terrible state, I didn't like it at all. Life there is too fast, people are in too much of a hurry to get nowhere. I am quite content coming back to a great family in a house nestled in the woods with peace and quite and FRESH AIR! The weather in Jersey was nice - we had sun every day, at least through dry land training, which is all I can ask for. But, the humidity was atrocious! I really think there was about 500% humidity... whether that was natural or smog related (I'm leaning towards smog) is beyond me, but the humidity sucked big time.

The camp itself was great. As it was my first time as a head instructor I was on my own and was feeling the pressure. I not only had kids who were just beginning or who needed work mostly on their fundamentals, but I had elite goaltenders who were looking to attend prep showcase tournaments. I wasn't sure how that was going to work out, I know the game and know the details they need to know, but kids in that position need a lot of attention and a lot of quality shots. I think I accomplished this, the kid was quite pleased with what he learned and the practice that he received. More than just him, though, the other kids loved it and were excited about the material that they learned. There are always a kid or two that doesn't like you, mainly because you're a tough coach, you demand hard work, so they don't like you... and I had a couple of them. For the most part, though, they were satisfied, and they had a lot of fun, I really couldn't ask for much more than that - after all, it is just a sport, it's meant to be fun.

The parents were also satisfied, which is one of the greatest compliments I could have received. The kids see a lot behind the scenes and are listening to what you have to say, so they know if you're a good coach or not, but the parents are basing it on off ice relations, what their kid reports, and how the on ice session is run. I had a few parents tell me it was the best camp by this program they've seen yet (and most of the kids had been there before or they had a sibling there before). That tells me I'm doing my job and I'm doing it well. I must say that working with 18 goalies is a lot easier than working with 18 players and goalies. I have more freedom and can tailor the drills to the goaltenders and not have to worry about a fusion session where both the players and goalies are doing drills together. I have to say, by someone saying that, it not only tells me I'm doing my job well, but doing better than previous coaches - in their mind. If I an have a few more performances like that, I'll be ecstatic.

No pictures from Jersey... it was ugly.

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