Cincinnati Swords Pee Travel – 2014/2015 Season

Cincinnati Swords Pee Travel – 2014/2015 Season
J. Brian DeGroft – Head Coach
4628 MacDonald Ct., Mason, Ohio 45040
513-706-3244 cell
513-792-1173 work or
Personal Background
I am 45 years old and my wife Kristin & I live in Mason Ohio with our 4 children (ages 10 – 16) and 2 dogs. We have 2
boys and 2 girls. Both boys play hockey, our oldest, John (16), is Sophomore at St. X High School and just completed the
2013-14 season for the Varsity team. I coached him within the CAHA Organization from Mites in 2003, through Bantam
Travel (A-Gold) in 2012. Our youngest, Liam (10), will be a member of this year’s Sword’s Travel Team. I have 2
daughters: Kathryn (15) and Grace (12). I am a Senior Vice President, Wealth Management and Wealth Management
Advisor at Merrill Lynch. I have been with Merrill Lynch for 23 years – starting after graduation for The University of
Dayton in 1991.
Playing Background
I grew up in Toledo, Ohio and started playing hockey as a Mite (3rd grade) in 1976. I played in the Sylvania House and
Travel Leagues through the 8th grade. Then, I went to Toledo St. John’s High School & played for the Varsity Hockey
Team, graduating in 1987. (St. John’s won Ohio High School State Championship in 2007!). I played Club Hockey while
at the University of Dayton and was Team Captain in my Senior Year, graduating in 1991. I am currently playing ‘Men’s
League’ at the Cincinnati Gardens.
My Role as a Coach
Playing Hockey has had a significant impact on my life and I owe a lot to the sport. I had some great coaches who I
remember well and I hope that your player will remember me positively when they have young players of their own and
decide to give back to the sport as a volunteer coach. Among the elements required to coach the game of hockey are:
knowledge of the game, ability to teach the game, strong organizational skills, ability to delegate, positive and
supportive teaching style and knowing each player. It is my honor to coach your child. I hope that you will trust me in my
role and I will do my best to be a positive role model for your child teaching the “Hockey Virtues,” which are:
Committed Effort – Sportsmanship/Character – Teamwork – Love of The Game.
Coaching Background – USA Hockey Level 4 Certification
2013/14 Head Coach Sabres House - MYHL Top Tier Squirts ‘03/’04 Mixed
2012/13 Head Coach CAHA House - MYHL Top Tier Squirts ‘02/’03 Mixed
2011/12 Head Coach CAHA Bantam Travel A – Gold ‘97/’98 Mixed
2010/11 Head Coach CAHA Bantam Travel A - Bronze ‘96/’97 Mixed
2009/10 Assistant Coach CAHA Pee Wee Travel A1 – ‘97/’98 Mixed
2009/10 Assisted in the CAHA Developing Hockey Program as an Instructor
2008/09 Head Coach Pee Wee House – (undefeated champs!) & Head Coach Pee Wee House Select
2007/08 Head Coach CAHA Squirt House & Assistant Coach Squirt House Select
2006/07 Head Coach CAHA Squirt House
2005/06 Assistant Coach CAHA Mite House
2003/04 Assistant Coach CAHA Developing Hockey
Evaluation Process
The team will be selected by myself and other Swords coaches and Board Members. The Players will be selected on a
number of criteria, including: demonstrated skills, speed, competiveness, attitude and feedback from other coaches.
There will be drills that help to evaluate skill and speed levels as well as a scrimmage to evaluate game play.
The team will consist of apx. 15 players. I will make a sincere effort to keep playing time equal for the players. However,
this is not a guarantee. I will use my discretion and judgment in special game situations that may require a shorter
bench to help the team achieve the goals the team will set for itself (such as, penalty kills and power plays). Players who
receive greater ice time will earn it through leadership shown on ice during games and practices, and in the locker room.
Along with a player’s ability - Effort and Attitude are very important to me and to the team goals.
Team Goals
The goals I have for this Pee Wee Travel team are listed below. Primary among them will be that the team embraces a
culture of playing to win, respect for one another, respect for their coaches, respect for the game, respect for the
officials and for their opponents. Additionally, this team will continue the development of the fundamental skills
required to play the game, gain a broader knowledge of the game of hockey, gain a broader knowledge of team tactics,
and to have a lot of fun while engaged in the process. I hope the players will remember this season positively, with
many exciting accomplishments that will motivate them to keep playing hockey! I will ask the team to develop some
goals for themselves. Team goals will be focused on Effort Level / Skill Development / Team Play / and learning new
Strategies for Offensive zone – Defensive zone – Neutral zone play. The Pee Wee age level is a very important age for
your developing player / child and understanding how to evaluate success is very important. Wins are great and I hope
to win every game, but success is not measured by a score board. The ongoing pursuit of a worthy ideal is my definition
and I will expect the players to commit themselves to doing their best, growing as players, teammates and future
leaders. “80% of the time, the team with the best players wins” - John Wooden, former UCLA Basketball Coach. I love
this quote. It reminds me that my role as a coach is more than the wins and losses. My role must also be about helping
the team develop beyond wins and losses in areas such as teamwork, sportsmanship and committed effort as required
elements to a successful season.
The Locker Room
In Hockey, The Locker Room is required to get dressed into the game attire. This typically does not happen at the youth
level in any other sport. The Locker Room is an environment unique to itself and will be a significant part of any team’s
– team culture. An orderly and supportive Locker Room translates to orderly and supportive practices. Orderly and
supportive practices translate to orderly and supportive games. I require an orderly and supportive locker room. The
Locker Room is a dressing, learning and team building environment. Profanity, intimidation, mockery will not be
tolerated. We will respect one another and support one another in the Locker Room. Any player who violates these
rules, will be asked to leave the Locker Room. If your player needs help with Skates or with Equipment – please help
them if the coaching staff cannot. But, please do not stay in the locker room. The team and coaches need to develop
and “inner circle” and your player will not assimilate to the “inner circle” if you are with them. Also, only men in the
locker room. Sorry Mom’s, but some of these boys are old enough to not want you seeing them in their underwear. For
girls on the team, once you have dressed and the boys have dressed – we will all meet in the locker room for Team Talk.
Coach’s Expectations of Players
- Demonstrate good sportsmanship
- Support your teammates on and off the ice
- Respect one another, your coaches & the game
- Eager to give the Full Effort and to Do Your Best
- Eager to be a team player (quick shifts, make plays, stay out of penalty box, play any position…)
- A love for the game of hockey and a desire to learn
- Arrive to all practices and games on time
- Play every shift like you are playing to win versus playing to play
Coach’s Expectations of Parents
- Demonstrate good sportsmanship
- Support your children through encouragement
- Willingness to communicate openly with the coaches in a respectful and dignified manner
- Give yourself some time to “cool down” prior to communicating a frustration
- Support the Team by volunteering, we will need help
- Have the players to practices, games and off ice activities on time
- Communicate in advance if your player cannot be present or will be late
This team will play in the Buckeye Travel Hockey League. I expect we will have approximately 45 – 50 total games. This
will include League Games (apx. 24 – 30), 2 or 3 Tournaments (8-12 games), non-league games and the Buckeye Year
End Tournament. Players are expected to arrive to the locker room 50 minutes before games in order to have time for
stretching, warm up, dressing, team talk and for the team to adjust to any last minute emergencies (forgetting a piece of
I expect we will have approximately 40 practices. We will practice 2 times per week for 1.5 hours each practice. Players
are expected to arrive to Locker Room 40 Minutes before practices in order to have enough time for stretching, warm
up, dressing and team talk.
The SWORDS offers the coaches the flexibility to build the best program for their teams. For the 2014-15 season, a fee
amount and payment structure will be set in the coming weeks. We estimate total costs to be between $1,800 and
$2,500 per skater.
Thank You – Go Swords!
J. Brian DeGroft