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.

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