Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan knows a thing or two about what it’s like to be a young coach looking to develop his own skill set, as well as the players he is coaching.
So it was no surprise that Gulutzan jumped at the opportunity to put on a coaching clinic for local youth and high school hockey coaches.
On Tuesday night, Gulutzan and his staff hosted over 40 of those coaches at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco, presenting them with new techniques that Gulutzan has found to be successful in the stops during his coaching career.
The Stars’ staff began by showing the coaches helpful tips and different drills they could use to help improve some of their kids’ skills, with a couple of memories from Gulutzan’s early coaching career mixed in.
“You know, it’s fun because 10-12 years ago, I was trying to sponge as much information as I could, and I still am,” Gulutzan said. “You want to see this game grow, especially in Dallas, and you want to see our players do well. It’s really nice to come back here and pass on knowledge. I think that’s what coaching is all about, sharing the knowledge that you’ve acquired over the years and keeping up that knowledge along the way.”
Stars assistant coaches Paul Jerrard and Curt Fraser each took time as well to help explain different activities the coaches can run during practices. One activity that stood out as vital in the clinic was skating, skating and more skating – something the staff believes kids can do with all their different drills to help develop one of the most fundamental skill sets needed to be a hockey player.
For Jeff Bloomer, a mini mite and squirt coach in Euless, the clinic was a chance to learn some valuable lessons from coaches at the highest level.
“This is great,” Bloomer exclaimed. “You don’t get to sit in the room with NHL coaches very often. But when you follow their advice, their drills and their suggestions, it’s just a lot of fun. It helps us progress as coaches. As a coach and a hockey player, hearing it from somebody of Gulutzan’s stature, it just has a little more clout behind it.”
At the conclusion of the presentation, all the coaches gathered in the Stars locker room, where Gulutzan and his staff continued to give the coaches some more insight by looking at film to show different defensive pointers and answering any other questions from the participants of the clinic.
“It’s a pretty awesome experience,” said Chris Margiotta, a coach for the Allen Eagles High School hockey team. “Not everyone gets helpful tips from an NHL coach and an NHL staff.”
The clinic was a showcase of the Dallas Stars organization’s commitment to youth hockey, as well as a personal passion of Gulutzan’s to show that the game can be fun for the kids and the coaches.
“Especially with the young players, it’s to have fun, develop skills and develop them as kids,” Gulutzan reiterated. “If they have fun playing this game, then they are going to play for a long time.”
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