Hockey has been a leader in youth sports for many years, requiring all coaches to complete an education program in order to gain the certification necessary to coach. The clinics conducted through USA Hockey’s Coach Education Program (CEP) are designed to provide coaches with a curriculum and the proper teaching techniques to ensure the proper development of their players.
“Coaches are one of the most important parts of our organization,” says Minnesota Hockey Coach-in-Chief, Christian Koelling. “They are in the position to have the greatest impact on our players. For this reason, we have the CEP to educate coaches and serve as a continued resource to them throughout the season.”
Each clinic is overseen by USA Hockey qualified instructors with at least a Level 4 certification. The 12 districts in Minnesota Hockey each have a head coach who serves as the USA Hockey CEP instructor. The clinic manuals they use and seminar content presented have been designed by the best hockey coaches and skill acquisition professionals in the country.
“The CEP aims to educate coaches on principles of coaching, player development, and LTAD to name a few,” states Koelling, who oversees the CEP in Minnesota. “Our clinics also cover a wide variety of topics designed to help coaches improve in areas that receive less attention such as communication, season and practice planning and player safety.”
CEP clinics are held statewide beginning in September and typically run through December. Scheduled clinics are posted online in the USA Hockey CEP Clinic database periodically. To find and register for a clinic near you, it is recommended that you check the list frequently. Coaches must register and attend a clinic prior to January 1st to be eligible for that season.
All coaches must enter USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program at Level 1. Mite/8U coaches have the option of staying at a Level 1, but coaches of higher levels must continue their education with a coaching clinic each year until they achieve Level 3. Coaches must also complete the online age-specific training modules specific to the level of play they are coaching, if they have not already taken that module. For a more detailed explanation, visit the Rules and Requirements page.