Bill Atkinson

Weekly girls hockey clinic has new name, new location

 

A girls hockey clinic is returning for a third season this summer.

The clinic which has operated out of the Libro Centre the last two years has moved to the Vollmer Centre in LaSalle due to the fact there will no longer be summer ice in Amherstburg for the first time in over 40 years.

The clinic has a new name this year. It’s called “Back to Basics Girls Hockey Clinic.” The director of the program with over 20 years of coaching and operating hockey schools is Bill Atkinson. The co-director is Dan Pettypiece with over 40 years of coaching and hockey school experience. Bill worked for Dan for approximately 15 years back in the old Tri-Com Hockey School days and after years away from the business he decided to jump back in.

One of the motivating factors for him was the fact that he has three girls in hockey and he enjoys being a part of their hockey experience. He also recognized the need for all female hockey programs in the area. Bill is very passionate about teaching the skills especially skating. He has always enjoyed teaching skill development and these clinics provide an environment for that to happen. Skill development is something coaches don’t usually have enough time to do during the season.

Dan Pettypiece and Bill Atkinson will be running the Back to Basics Girls Hockey Clinic this summer, but it will be at the Vollmer Centre in LaSalle due to no summer ice at the Libro Centre.

Bill and Dan have always been on the same page in regards to teaching skating and hockey skills.

One of our main philosophies in teaching skating and hockey skills is emphasizing proper techniques, with drill progression and correcting bad habits,” they state. “Too many programs just seem to run drills and have lots of gadgets on the ice but there is not a lot of teaching and correcting going on. This prohibits skill development and as the players move up in the older divisions they become frustrated and some end up walking away from the game. Our goal is to slow the players down, break down the skills into smaller parts and try to get them to perform drills correctly with proper technique. If a program doesn’t have that philosophy it can have less of an impact on a player’s improvement.”

The clinic will again feature two age groups – 5-10-year-olds and 11-15-year-olds. New for this year we will introduce a beginners program for newer players ( –14) that have just started playing this year or are starting this coming season. It will feature six one-hour sessions.

Back to Basics Female Hockey Clinic will take place in August. The six 90 minute sessions will take place on Tuesdays Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28 and Thursdays Aug. 23 and 30. The beginner program will be at 5 p.m. on the same dates, the 5 -10 year old group will be at 6 p.m. and the 11–15-year-old group will be at 7:30 p.m.

The program will focus on power skating but they will also work on hockey skills. The program also offers specialized goaltending instruction (with their own instructor). The program fee is $120 for the beginners program and $175 for the hockey clinic.

Bill believes that making the girl’s programs affordable and giving them the chance to compete against other girls helps make the program a success. It’s important to have all girls programs because many girls do not feel comfortable playing hockey and training with the boys programs. The first year the program had one group with 36 players, the second year had two groups with over 60 players.

We were sold out each year,” he said.

For Bill and Dan it’s the perfect way to cap off the summer working with the girls and getting them ready for the coming hockey season. Also serving as instructors at the clinic this year will Carson Clark-Bartolo, Allison Langille, Chad Mayrand and goaltending instructors Jason Dion and Adam Frye. Additional instructors will be added later.

If you wish to have more information or to register, e-mail us at backtobasicshockeyclinic@gmail.com or see our Facebook page Back to Basics Hockey Clinic @backtobasicshockeyclinic.

Sold out hockey school focuses strictly on girls

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

An all-girls hockey camp started last Wednesday night with the ice at the Libro Centre filled with players ages 6-15.

The camp is in its second year and is being directed by Bill Atkinson and Dan Pettypiece. Atkinson said it allows players to “go back to basics” and learn the finer points of the game. The clinic started last year with 36 kids and is sold out this year with over 60 players enrolled.

“It’s the kinds of things coaches can’t do in the middle of the season because they don’t have enough ice time,” said Atkinson.

There are not a lot of all-girls camps, Atkinson believes, and they try to make the clinic at the Libro Centre affordable for everyone. He said a lot of girls don’t feel comfortable on the ice with boys and they are more enthusiastic when they get to compete against other girls.

Girls from around the area have been taking the ice at the Libro Centre for a hockey school.

Girls from around the area have been taking the ice at the Libro Centre for a hockey school.

Atkinson said the all-girls approach works for his three daughters and believes it works better for other girls, as they are not as intimidated on the ice and more motivated.

“I wouldn’t be able to get any of them to go to a mostly boys camp,” said Atkinson.

While basic skating and puck handing skills are taught, Atkinson added they aren’t necessarily trying to create superstars.

“We’re going to teach you how to play hockey so you can enjoy the game,” he said.

Atkinson said there are other coaches as well, including a goalie coach and three girls getting an initial exposure to coaching. He said it is great not only helping players develop, but allowing others to give back through coaching.

The bulk of the players are from Amherstburg, he added, though there are players from LaSalle and Harrow in the camp as well as some others from around the area.

The school has two sessions each Wednesday night through Aug. 23 and also runs Aug. 29.

Weekly girls hockey clinic to run Wednesdays starting July 26

 

By Ron Giofu

A girls hockey summer training program is returning to the Libro Centre.

Bill Atkinson is the director of the female power skating and hockey clinic and Dan Pettypiece is the co-director. It starts July 26 and runs for six weeks for ages 6-15.

“We actually started the program last summer recognizing there was a need for strictly girls hockey programs in the area,” said Pettypiece. “We had one group last year ranging in age 5 to 15 which presented some challenges with the different skill levels all being on the ice at once.”

Pettypiece noted the program was sold out and it had a waiting list.

“This year we decided to offer two age groups (6-10 and 11-15). Bill worked approximately15 years for me back in the old Tri-Com Hockey School days and after several years away from the business he decided to jump back in. One of the motivating factors for him was the fact that he now has three girls playing hockey and he enjoys being a part of their hockey experience. He is very passionate about teaching the skills especially skating.”

Pettypiece said they have always been on the same page in that regards. He stated Atkinson has been coaching and teaching the game for over 20 years. As for Pettypiece, he said he has never ever been able to leave the game that has meant so much to him.

“I have been coaching and running hockey programs for 40 years now and I still have the same passion as when I started,” said Pettypiece.

The weekly sessions will include a focus on power skating but they will also work on hockey skills each 90-minute session.

Some of the other instructors will be Taylor Conte from the University of Windsor Lancers, Carson Clarke Bartolo and Allison Langille from the Windsor Wildcat midget travel team. It will also feature goalie instructor Jason Dion. The fee is $140.

“One of our main philosophies in teaching skating and hockey skills is emphasizing proper techniques, with drill progression and correcting bad habits,” said Pettypiece. “Too many programs seem to just run drills and have lots of gadgets on the ice but there is not a lot of teaching and correcting which prohibits skill development. We try to slow them down and break the skills down into smaller parts. Otherwise you are not doing your job which is to improve their skill level.”

There are 40 girls registered and they have up to 20 spots available. Contact Bill Atkinson at wma@hotplumbing.com to register.

“We are looking forward to getting back on the ice and working with the girls,” said Pettypiece.

The clinics run each Wednesday from 6-7:20 p.m. and 7:30-8:50 p.m.