SIMSBURY YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION (SYHA) COACHING
Policy Paper Sections 3.1 through 3.4 (July 2011)
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For coaching resources and information on coach certification, refer to Coaches Corner
Director of Coaching. SYHA is a volunteer organization and makes every effort to provide quality instruction and coaching to its participants. SYHA expects that its coaches work to become more knowledgeable about the game of hockey so that the level of instruction throughout the program is consistently high. The Director of Coaching guides and assists all Division Directors and coaches in this effort. SYHA strives to develop a common general philosophy regarding player instruction and development that is consistent through all levels of the program. This does not imply, however, that every coach will coach every team the same way; coaches are expected to develop practice plans and game strategies that will best serve the needs of their team both in terms of skill development and competency and in the context of the team’s level of competition. Prior to tryouts and team selections each fall, the Director of Coaching will conduct a coaches meeting, which will be attended by all potential coaching candidates. The Director of Coaching will discuss the philosophy of SYHA and its expectations for the conduct of coaches in their role as the primary representative of SYHA to players and parents. On-ice clinics will be held each fall and all assigned coaches are strongly advised to attend.
Selection of Coaches. All interested persons may apply to the Director of Coaching. The Director of Coaching, the Vice President of On-Ice Operations, and the appropriate Division Director will constitute a Committee with the responsibility and authority to make all coaching assignments. The decision of this Committee will be final. SYHA's policy is to select the most qualified Head Coach from among all interested candidates, regardless of whether a candidate is the parent of a child participating in the program. In all situations the candidate Head Coach will possess coaching qualifications consistent with the level of skill and competition of the players to be coached. Coaches are required to attend the pre-season coaches meeting for the level they expect to coach. Other key factors are the ability to relate well to players of that age level, the ability to communicate effectively with parents, the ability to exercise fair and independent judgment and the ability to support SYHA policies and procedures. Coaching assignments will be reviewed annually. A Division Director may not be a Head Coach in the division in which they are the current Director. The single exception to this provision is in the Midget Division, provided the coaching candidate receives majority approval of the President, Vice President of On-Ice Operations, and Director of Coaching.
USA Hockey Certification of Coaches. All coaches above the Mite House Division will hold the appropriate level USA Hockey Coaching Achievement certification consistent with USA Hockey guidelines. Ideally, coaches will be appropriately certified at the beginning of the SYHA season in October, but all coaches will be certified by January be removed by the Board and will not be permitted to participate in on-ice or game-coaching activities. It is mandatory for CHC State Tournament-eligible team coaches to hold the appropriate USA Hockey certification. All SYHA coaches are strongly encouraged to earn Level III certification. For additional information on USA Hockey’s Coaching Achievement certification programs, see the USA Hockey website at www.usahockey.com
USA Hockey/CHC Required Screening of Coaches. USA Hockey and CHC require that all SYHA personnel (coaches, managers, Board members, instructors, etc.) with routine access to minor players clear a background screen by a CHC-sanctioned organization. To facilitate this process, CHC has contracted with an independent screening organization operating an on-line screening application. All such SYHA personnel must complete this screening process, and SYHA must receive independent confirmation that the applicant has passed that screening process, before the applicant will be allowed to participate in SYHA events. The website address for the screening process will be provided by the Director of Coaching, Registrar, or the appropriate Division Director upon request.
On-Ice Participation. Generally, only Head Coaches, assistant coaches, and players who are registered and insured by SYHA and assigned to that particular team will be on the ice during practice times. Occasionally, at the Head Coach’s discretion, additional personnel may be invited to practices. In all such cases, additional personnel will assist the coaches and advance the practice plan. All on-ice coaches must obtain the necessary level of certification as outlined above.
Parents' Meeting. Each Head Coach will conduct a mandatory meeting for players and parents immediately after team selections. The Head Coach will appoint a team manager who will be in charge of team administrative matters, and the Head Coach will discuss the philosophy, policies, and procedures of SYHA applicable to the team or parents’ group.