MONTREAL -- For the 13th consecutive year, minor hockey coaches from across Quebec were invited to the Bell Centre on Saturday to participate in Tim Hortons Coaching Day.
The annual event, which took place on Saturday, involved over 700 participants who were able learn the tricks of the coaching trade from the professionals.
In addition to attending the practices of the Montreal Canadians and the visiting Detroit Red Wings, coaches were also able to participate in various hockey workshops that focused on teaching methods for the shootout, 1-against-1 drills, zone breakouts and goaltending.
Michel Therrien also addressed the participants, recalling how he had gone through the same arduous path facing those who stood before him Saturday. The Canadiens head coach stressed the impact that a coach can have on the life of a young hockey player.
"Few young people will make it to the National League, you have to be realistic. But you can have an important influence in the development of each kid, you can teach them values that will be very important, both now and in the future ,” said Therrien who attended the event for the fourth year in a row.
Therrien, who made his debut behind the bench of the NHL at the age of 35-years-old, also stressed the importance of instilling the right attitude in youth as early as possible. "You can play with a banged up shoulder, knee injuries, and the wounds everywhere, but you can not play without heart. It is important for young people to have the right attitude and you can make sure they have that every time they jump on the ice. “
Finally, the most in demand coach in Quebec concluded with a simple message. "Tell your kids to have fun. This is the most important part in the practice of our sport, and even today in the National League, that's what I always tell my players: Have fun.”
New this year: Assistant Athletic Therapist Vincent Roof-Racine came to talk to the coaches about hockey related injuries. The discussion focused on giving coaches tips on how to react to each situation, as injuries are unfortunately prevalent in both minor hockey and professional hockey..
"The most important thing in these times is to not to try to be a hero, but to ensure that the athlete is supported safely. Ensure that care or transportation are performed under the best possible conditions,” explained the Canadiens Assistant Athletic Therapist, who also took the time to answer questions from coaches concerning the handling of various injuries.
The topic of concussions and measures available to detect symptoms as early as possible were also discussed at length.