The Wilmette Hockey community is proud to announce two promotions within its coaching ranks.
WHA Director of Skill Development
The Wilmette Braves, serving house league and travel Squirt, Pee Wee and Bantam players ages 9-14, have named Brian Keane, Director of Skill Development. A former UMass Amherst player and CYA assistant coach, Keane enters third year with the Braves and 5th year coaching amateur hockey. Keane also trains a host of NCAA, Junior and NHL-drafted players preparing them for high profile college and professional careers. Keane believes in building teams through individual player skill development, repetitions and most important--creating an "authentic confidence" that they will carry throughout their hockey life.
Brian Keane: "I try to build from the blades up. If a player has good balance and are able to make plays, they feel confident. Without that hockey strength on skates and confidence, you can't make plays. To me, the base is essential and you go from there."
Wilmette Tribe House League Director
The Wilmette Tribe, serving house league and travel Mite players ages 4-8 years old, have named Joe Heaton House League Director and Head Coach of Mite Team 1. Heaton grew up playing hockey in the Wilmette Tribe/Braves system. He enters his third year coaching for Wilmette, 17th overall. Coach Heaton emphasizes individual player skill development through fun, efficient and challenging drills, making the game exciting for entry level players.
Joe Heaton: “Hockey is so skill intensive and so daunting, particularly for the first child (in the family who plays the game). Confidence is the biggest thing you can offer them. You tell them: ‘I don’t know you but I think you’re good. If you come to practice every day and work hard you can be really good.’ Ten minutes later they’re 15% better than when they walked in the door because they’re going for it, and when kids go for it, it’s amazing how fast they learn.”