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6 Steps to Coaching Youth Hockey

By Minnesota Hockey, 09/28/20, 11:00AM CDT


Name the top three NHL coaches of all-time.

Name the top three coaches to make an impact in your life.

Unless you’re one of the handful of people in the world who had the chance to play for the greatest coaches of all-time, your favorite youth sport coach(es) likely occupy a far greater part of your memory and heart than even the biggest names in hockey.

Now, you have the opportunity to make that kind of positive impact on another child’s life and passion for hockey, and when you frame it in that perspective, it’s a big responsibility.

The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. USA Hockey and Minnesota Hockey take pride in being leaders across all youth sports in assisting coaches with training, resources and communication of best practices. The USA Hockey Coaching Education Program (CEP), led by Minnesota’s State and District Coach-in-Chiefs, hosts nearly 100 coaching clinics each year with the goal of ensuring youth hockey coaches in Minnesota are prepared to create a safe and positive learning environment for all participants. 

If you’re interested in coaching this season, here’s a check list for you to follow.

1. Register with USA Hockey

2. CEP Clinics

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Hockey is conducting its Level 1-4 coaching certification clinics virtually until it is deemed safe to host large group gatherings. In addition, a new temporary card is being introduced as a flexible option for coaches to maintain their certification if they are unable to attend virtual coaching clinics. Click here to register for a clinic today.

3. Age-Specific Online Modules

USA Hockey’s age-specific coaching modules provide coaches with everything they need to know for their team’s age group.  The modules for the 2020-21 season are available now.  Coaches must complete the appropriate module(s) for their age level(s) prior to taking the ice.

4. Background Screen

Coaches are required to complete a background screen every two years. If you are not sure when you were last screened, check with your registrar. Do not complete the screening form if you were screened for the 2019-20 season.

5. SafeSport Training

Coaches must also complete a SafeSport Training course through the U.S. Center for SafeSport. As of 4/1/2019, SafeSport training must be completed on an annual basis.

6. Concussion Training

All coaches are required to receive training regarding concussions. Each coach shall complete and provide a coach concussion acknowledgement form to the association prior to participating in any team activities. Training can be completed through USA Hockey’s online age modules, the Center for Disease Control, the National Federation of State High School Associations, or training provided through other youth sport programs.

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