The 2009 Tampa Bay Lightning Holiday Camp is underway and two former Bolts are back on the ice to teach local skaters the two major aspects of youth hockey: fun and fundamentals.
Lightning Alums Doug Crossman and Brian Bradley have laced up the skates and taken the ice at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum, as the official instructors of this, now annual, event.
“Our goal is for the kids to have fun,” Bradley said. “We want to teach them the fundamentals of hockey and grow the game in Tampa Bay. It’s great for the kids, and that’s what we’re all about.”
This three-day, holiday camp is the second in two years and is comprised of skaters ages eight to16, with participants from Tampa to Montreal.
“I was able to get the one-on-one help that I needed,” participant Derek Ewing said. “(Crossman) helped me with my skating tremendously. He was able to point out some techniques that I was doing incorrectly and help me change and get better.”
The Holiday Camp is designed around what both instructors feel like are the two major aspects of youth hockey: fun and fundamentals. The morning drills are broken up into one-on-one lessons, where skaters work with the instructors and other players polishing their skills.
Then, the afternoon is designed to give the participants more of a chance to work together in team drills. Passing and team skating sessions lead up to a 30-minute scrimmage, facing the White and Blue teams against each other to end the day.
“This camp is a lot more fun than others,” Trey, a Bantam skater, said. “I’ve been to four other camps and Coach Bradley is, by far, more laid back than the coaches at the other camps. He let’s us just go out and have a good time.”
Susan Lefevre, the mother of one camp participant said that her son has gotten “much more than he expected.”
“They really open it up for the kids,” Lefevre said. “I was able to catch the scrimmage at the end, and I haven’t seen my son that excited in quite some time.”
Lefevre, referring to a goal with 56 seconds remaining on the game clock to end the afternoon scrimmage in a 5-5 tie.
The 2009 Tampa Bay Lightning Youth Holiday Camp wraps up Dec. 23, with each camper receiving nine hours of on-ice instruction, two Lightning game tickets, a camp jersey, laser tag and much more.
For more information on this camp, and other Tampa Bay Lightning MADE Youth Hockey Clinics, visit tampabaylightning.com or call 813.684.7825.