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Travel Coaches

We take pride in our highly talented coaching staff.  Our unified coaching approach develops hockey skills and life skills through competition.

Team Head Coach Assistant Coach  
Mite 1 Joe Heaton Andy Flakus  
Mite 2 Grant Paulsen Katie Shadek  
Mite 3 Joe Heaton Frank Pustek  
Squirt 1 Adam Cheris Andrew Cheris, John Widmar, John Wallin  
Squirt 2 Ben Piskor Colin Franti  
Squirt 3 Nate Gibson Peter Kennedy  
Squirt 4 Ben Piskor Colin Franti  
Pee Wee 1 Brad McMahon Ethan Austin  
Pee Wee 2 Andy Bauer Dan Braband  
Pee Wee 3 Mike Kennedy Ethan Austin  
Bantam1 Anthony Booth Carl Cook, John Wallin  
Bantam 2 Kyle Sennott Corey Ruth  
Bantam 3 Bill Martin Kevin Van  
Bantam 4 Bill Martin Kevin Van  
Girls U10 Katey Shadek    
Girls U12 Nicholas Ponce De Leon Giselle Medina  
Girls U14 Nicholas Ponce De Leon Giselle Medina  










Potential assistant coach changes TBD after registration.

Our Head Coaches are supported by elite level skills Directors.

Wilmette Travel Hockey Basics

Expect : average 2.5  to 3.0 practice events and 1 to 2 games per week.

Team Practices and Skill Sessions: 
1.  Organization:               Defined plan, 2 coaches, equipment needs and teaching points
2.  Energy:                           Seize the opportunity to be great today.
3.  Repetition:                   Efficiently engineered practice designs; three skill priorities
4.  Team Themes:            What is our collective spirit?  What do we care about as a team?
5.  Deep Instruction:       Every drill, connect with players for advanced development tips
6.  Have Fun                       The game is intended to be fun—let it happen.

Off the Ice Player Education and Development
1.  Video Education         Team, small group, individual player---hosted by team HC or Director.
2.  Life Skill Education     Monthly themes and awards based on character performance
3.  Dryland Training*       Getting fitness edge through off ice training sessions.

4.  Off Ice Systems           Learning system play and positioning through off ice training
5.  Hockey Men/Chalk    Learning system play and positioning through hockey position figurines


Goaltending:  Weekly Highlights

Monday: Goaltender Specialized Clinics:  2.5 to 1 student to coach ratio

Tuesday through Friday:  Team practices or skills with dedicated, professional WHA Goaltending Coaches at 2 of every 3 practices weekly.

Overall:  Up to 4 practice sessions a week.


Goaltending: New Emphasis:  Game and Practice Video

To supplement instruction, build confidence and improve communication, WHA Director Grant Paulsen will provide video instruction from both practice and game settings.

Just as it does for the skating team, video can illuminate teaching points, provide excitement and accelerate development.


Equipment Check

Prior to the season’s start and intermittently throughout the season, all important “equipment checks” will be offered by coaches.  As coaches, we cannot over-emphasize the benefits or perfectly fitting and protective equipment.  The more a player (and parents) know about this subject, the better they player becomes.

Team Culture
1.  Reward the small, important plays that lead to the big, high profile plays.
2.  Assure the respect and camaraderie are always on display.

3.  Bring positive energy to the moment whenever possible. 
4.  Keep in mind, a player will never bully or destroy the experience for another teammate. 
5.  We respect teammates, referees and opponents in accordance with WHA behavior guidelines. 

Game Management
1.  We roll lines and intend to provide equal playing time for all team members. 
2. We want all kids to be fully involved in the game.  

3.  Exceptions for reduced ice time:  penalty filled games, player discipline or teaching. Additionally, playing time may be adjusted in tightly contested games with 2:30 or less in period.  Conversely, with large leads, players that lose ice time in tight games may gain ice time here.

1.  Season start up parent meeting
2.  Practice/Game lobby talks
3.  Team parent email….every 4-5 weeks stating state of team and plan ahead.
4.  Parent-Player-Coach meeting

Player Skills Rotations and Leaderships

For the fourth year, Prodigy Hockey’s Brian Keane will lead Wilmette Hockey player skill develop sessions for Squirt, Pee Wee and Bantam.

Under Brian’s leadership, WHA Director Joe Heaton and Precision Hockey (Anthony Booth) will host additional skill sessions.

Joe Heaton will continue to design develop curriculum for House and Mite players.