All spring teams and programs have the pursuit of individual development and team play as part of their primary outcomes. To that end, the Spitfires are in line with other teams and organizations. Beyond team practices, Spitfire players will enjoy skill sessions and power-skating classes delivered by industry professionals practicing in Greater Edmonton. However, with Spitfire Hockey there is so much more.
With the Spitfires, we think “outside the box” adding sports psychology, joga (an athletic-based style of yoga) and community awareness, among other team initiatives, delivering spring hockey to a new level; over and above what you have experienced in the past.
The Spitfires are pleased to welcome Registered Psychologist Nicolas Allen, MA, BPE, MES, at River Valley Health (The Base), who will deliver an introduction to the power of the mind in sport to parents and players. As our season progresses our players will participate in team sessions with Nicolas where they can learn off-ice techniques to unlock their potential within.
Meanwhile, as hockey players are known to have some of the tightest hamstrings and groins in sport, Master Joga Trainer, Bree Guhle, will join us to deliver an introduction to joga for our players, with several follow-ups throughout the spring season.
Further, we will add a community awareness element to our program, where our players will develop social responsibility and leadership skills through a community-based project. While the winter Spitfires recently delivered Christmas hampers to the less fortunate as their community awareness project, the spring Spitfires will follow-up with a similar initiative in pursuit of becoming better leaders and citizens.
Spitfires Hockey is spring hockey with a definite difference. We pledge to deliver a cost-effective, challenging and truly complete spring program to motivated and skilled 2005-born players, setting a new standard for those who demand more.
The attached list outlines what can be expected by players and parents when joining the Spitfires:
Overall content: A unique and competitive hockey experience suited to a highly skilled A or AA player
Practice Content: Players can expect excellent, high tempo practices addressing both individual skill and team play
Advanced Skill Development: Delivered periodically from local industry professionals
Advanced Power Skating: Delivered periodically from local industry professionals
Sports Psychology: An introduction to, and subsequent sessions of, sports psychology sessions
Joga: Instruction in Joga (an athletic-based form of yoga)
Community Involvement Project: One team community project to help our players become better leaders and better citizens
Program Cost: $1500 or less (may be augmented by fundraising initiatives or sponsorships)
Deposit: $300 deposit (non-refundable) if offer to join the team is accepted (part of $1500 fee)
Open book policy: As we are not a business, but rather a collective, all team financials will be open to the parent group
Length of program: Early April thru mid June
On Ice Commitment: 3 or more practices per week, primarily in greater Edmonton
Tournaments: Currently registered in 3, more should the group have a willingness to do so (one each in April, May and June)
Exhibition Games: We will strive to have 3 or more exhibition games per month (over and above tournaments); however, we must also be aware that our schedule may not always mesh with our opponents
Coaching: Excellent coaching led by Leigh McDonald and supported by Coach Mentor Eric Thurston
Respect for the game: We will adhere to the Respect-in-Sport model. Parents and players will be treated with utmost respect by our staff. Further all involved (parents, coaches and players) will be expected to sign a Code of Conduct Agreement covering accepted and unaccepted behavior, respect for all involved in the sport (including officials) and basic team rules, etc.
Enjoyment: High expectations and challenging practices do not mean the element of fun will be forgotten. We will be an excellent team because our players will be charged with enthusiasm for the game.
It is often said that success breeds success. In the case of the Spitfires, we believe that to be true.
The core group of the 2005 Alberta Spitfires is composed of 5 players from the St. Albert Peewee “A” Spitfires who play in the EMHA. Approaching the Christmas break the team comfortably held-down first place in the city league. Further, the team was undefeated in exhibition and tournament play, outscoring our opponents 47-2 in non-league games.
With something uniquely special about the team, a group of parents of 2005 players committed to continuing the hockey adventure into the spring. Many had previous spring experiences and all pledged to take the best of what they had experienced in the past to create our own team and identity.
Meanwhile, the winter Spitfires, partly composed of 2004s who are graduating to Bantam, also have several 2005s who switch to lacrosse in spring. Thus, the search began for like-skilled, competitive players who were ready to embrace the Spitfire way.
Our parent-group agreed that at the core, hockey should be a challenging, competitive and enjoyable experience. Regardless of how skilled the players are, all too often, the element of “fun” is lost in spring programs, especially given the advanced skill level of stronger players. Conversely, some spring programs do not fully promote a challenging, competitive environment best-suited to higher skilled players.
We believe the right path is to offer a challenging, competitive environment with age-appropriate delivery. Further, players and parents will experience a rewarding and enjoyable spring season.
We also strongly support individual player-development; thus, we will augment our program with skill and power-skating instruction by industry professionals.
Further, we believe in the overall hockey experience. We think “outside-the-box” to create unique experiences for our players, such as an introduction to sports psychology, designed to trigger enhanced confidence and hockey performance (see The Spitfire Difference)
Our spring head coach, Leigh McDonald believes in Hockey for Life, a notion that hockey should be enjoyed throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood, regardless of the ultimate level reached.
Coach McDonald lives the Hockey for Life ideal, continuing to play as an adult. A former Bantam and Midget AA and AAA player in the Maple Leaf Athletic Club, he moved-on to the Williams Lake Mustangs in the PCJHL and for a brief time with Fort Saskatchewan in AJHL. New to St. Albert, he has coached 2004 thru 2009 birth years in KC and STA and continues to provide leadership on both his son’s teams.
Further, the Spitfires are happy to announce that Eric Thurston, former Head Coach of the University of Alberta Golden Bears, will be the team’s Coach Mentor and advisor. Eric is a six-time CIS national champion, winning 2 as a head coach, 3 as an assistant coach and 1 as a player. Eric will guide our coaches behind the scenes helping to create a program highlighted by skill and speed, and delivering on core expectations (www.ericthurstonhockey.com/about-eric).
The Spitfires are a highly motivated group and all possess an extreme passion for the sport. If you as a parent are like-minded with your core values; and if your player is highly-skilled, motivated and is ready for unique, challenging and rewarding hockey experiences, don’t miss the opportunity to skate with us on Dec. 24th.