Maurice Hamlin was awarded the 2009-10 Ernie Gare Coach of the Year Award at the 2010 BC Hockey Annual General Meeting. Maurice has spent the past 7 years coaching the Juvenile team for Richmond Minor Hockey Association. His hard work and dedication paid off last year when his team captured the Juvenile BC Hockey Championship.
Thanks for speaking with us today. Will you be coaching the Richmond Juvenile team again this year?
Yes I will be this will be a brand new team with only 2 returning players. As a coach you take what is given to you and you do what you can. As long as there are guys on ice having fun, that is all that matters
With the hockey season quickly approaching, what do you do as a coach to get ready for it?
I basically have everything set up for try outs. I have all the practice plans and comb through them to make sure they fit the team that I am going to have. This year is different because the team is much younger this year. We will work on skating skills and a lot of team tactics. I have met with my other coaches to prepare. We need to look for the players that want to work with us, work on hockey skills. I don’t have a set plan; you plan to what the team is, look at the team, look at each guy and then decide which skills to work on.
What was your experience like winning the 2009-10 BC Hockey Coach of the Year award?
It was very exciting and unexpected. It kind of brought it all to a head, all the years coaching. I was pleased that people thought of a Juvenile coach, I am Juvenile advocate. I had a lot of calls from players that I coached over the years. That is important to me, to know I did something good as a coach and to know they had a positive hockey experience. It was very humbling to me, once in a lifetime type of thing. It gave me more focus and it is going to help me with the younger coaches, to help mentor these coaches. More than the recognition, it has opened communication lines to these younger coaches and they can pull from my experience. I coach to have fun, it is a life experience.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in coaching minor hockey?
I think first of all you have to remember you are there for the players and not yourself. The players look upon you as a teacher, you need to make sure that you take it serious. Every kid is important and each one is different. Don’t get caught up in structured hockey that is no fun. You can have structured hockey, but always be sure to have fun. Also, you can’t act stupid on the bench, you are the example. If you act properly on the bench, the players will act properly. You have to respect everyone of your players. You need to learn about the kids, see what makes the kid tick. If you do that they will respect you and they will have a good experience.
And lastly, what is your goal for the 2010-11 season?
With this group of boys, I would like to do well. The big thing is that I want these boys to play well in the Juvenile division so they can have fun. I want to hone on their skills, so they can play the Juvenile game. I want to have a good season, have some fun and play some hockey. Getting to the BC Hockey Championship is a bonus.