Doyle Hockey Development Holiday Camp A Success!
After a long Holiday season, it is time for students to get back to school and for parents to get back to work, as the second half of the hockey season is officially upon us.
The Doyle Hockey Development (DHD) Holiday Camp took place from January 2nd – 5th at the new Evolution Ice training faculty in Dorval, Quebec. I would like to start off by thanking the great staff at Evolution Ice who made sure we always had everything we needed and were quick to provide us with great service and great ice all week.
The Holiday camp was the first of its kind with the DHD crew! In the past we have always just had a summer camp, so I am thrilled with the success of the Holiday Camp and will continue to provide these development opportunities for female players in the Montreal area!
Caroline Ouellette a 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist took charge of the on-ice sessions and provided the participants with a challenge each day. Caro worked hard to create challenging situations for all levels and we were really able to see improvements in all the girls with their on the ice. The athletes worked hard to make Caro proud and they had a lot of fun in the process!
Martlet Hockey Alumni Natalie Smith organized the off-ice sessions. Natalie who currently is a certified personal trainer definitely pushed the girls to work hard off ice and helped them to understand the importance of warming up and cooling down before and after a workout.
I (Amey Doyle) took care of the goaltender development. As a goalie coach I take pride in allowing time for specific goaltender training and made sure to have this time each day! I took the goalies through a progression of basic movement patterns to more advanced play behind the net and rebound control drills throughout the week. We talked about focus, patience and quick recoveries as areas to think about each time we step on the ice.
The Holiday Camp was filled with a number of highlights for the participants! The first of which came on Monday when each participant met Caroline during their office session and had the opportunity to be taught by one of the top female players in the world. On Tuesday, we had a visit by Melodie Daoust, a current member of the McGill Martlets and Canada’s National Team. Melo is one of the top stickhandling players in the Country so we took this opportunity to work on stickhandling and puck control.
Olympic Goaltender (3-time Olympic Gold medalist) Kim St-Pierre also came to watch the girls on the ice and signed autographs and posed for pictures with the players on Tuesday afternoon. Kim is expecting her first child in only 7 weeks so we were thrilled to have her meet the players. Wednesday marked a surprise visit by Olympian Catherine Ward who took all the girls who play defense to teach them some position specific drills. She worked on breaking out, teaching them how to use the net to their advantage, and worked on shooting from the blue line. Meanwhile at the other end of the ice, Caroline had the forwards working on quick release shots, moving to open space without the puck and the give and go pass in the offensive zone.
Finally, on Thursday Caroline gave a small conference to the players and parents. She spoke about her time training for the Vancouver Olympics; she showed two videos that helped demonstrate the hard work, dedication and commitment that it really takes to make it to Canada’s National Team. The girls were able to see Caro’s Olympic Gold Medal and her Olympic Ring and they had the chance to ask Caro a number of questions about her journey to the Olympics.
To summarize, the Holiday Camp by the DHD staff was a great success. We had fifteen young female players get opportunities to learn from some of the best players in the world. I have always said that the DHD program does not just focus on what is learned on the ice but rather the life lessons that participants learn through a wide range of drills, activities and experiences that occur both on and off the ice. All camps by DHD work hard to reinforce the concept that you need to work hard at everything you do. The participants of the Holiday Camp got a first hand look at the result of hard work, dedication and commitment.
The next DHD Camp will take place at CEGEP St. Laurent from June 25th – 29th 2012. The participants will be divided into two groups according to skill level. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org