Each year the President has an opportunity to review the year that was. I have found that as the Vice President the last few years I had the easy job in assisting the President with their report. It was easy to look back at the year and highlight some of the major accomplishments and areas needed for improvement. With that said I have found a lot of plusses in our program and a few areas I think we should take a closer look at.
Here are some highlights from this past season:
- Our Learn to Skate program introduced the sport of Hockey to almost 70 kids. Almost ½ of those skaters joined the association.
- Home tournament numbers were great this year. We did not have to cancel any tournaments and had at least 6 teams in every tournament.
- Our fundraising events have been very successful with very little effort from our members. And by that I mean that our members did not have to do a lot of selling. We have focused more on “painless” fundraising.
Some other items to consider for the 2012/2013 season:
- Do we need to increase our ice time to compete in division 1? If so how are we going to do this without raising rates?
- How do we increase the knowledge of our newer coaches? We should try and get a clinic locally, and have our more experienced coaches try and help out.
- How do we encourage more kids to join hockey? Should we rent out our LTS equipment to make it more affordable? Should we decrease the time commitment?
A couple of the items I feel we need to address are the tryout process and the ADM program
At the end of last season a tryout committee was formed. They spent many hours gathering information from other associations on how they ran tryouts. The committee took all this information and created a proposed tryout process. This process was reviewed and discussed with the Exec board. Several hours were spent on making sure everything was clear and thought out before presenting it to the board. Once the board reviewed it more changes were made. In the end we had a solid tryout process. I believe the tryout process went well without any issues. However, no tryout process is perfect in any sport. I would like to suggest some changes for next year. There are many factors that need to be considered when tryouts roll around. One area for improvement is registration. We need to know our numbers well in advance of tryouts to determine teams. In the past we have had families register late and it can cause problems in the tryouts and formation of teams. The other area that will need to be looked at this next season is Bantam tryouts. This year we waited until the High School tryouts were done. The Bantam teams were formed late due to this. As tryouts were approaching, many Bantams were not participating in pre tryout practice because they were skating with the high schools or involved with the Heat practices. This will need to be addressed for next season. Coaches input was not considered in tryouts this year but may need to be looked at in future years to insure the skaters are on the correct team for their abilities.
The 2nd area to look at was the ADM program. Last year we received a lot of feedback about this program. It was the associations first year running it and we knew there would need to be some changes. We appreciated all the helpful insight from coaches and parents. This year we made some changes that seemed to be very positive. We did not have as high of a retention rate in coaches. There was more variety in the drills which kept the skaters interested. Some advanced skaters were able to participate in some games. With these changes the program improved. We also added the Squirt in-house for those skaters that were not ready to move up to the traveling level and wanted more development. However, there is more improvement needed. Looking into next year I would like to see more internal training of the in-house coaches. We have a lot of talented coaches in our association. These coaches would be able to help out the in house coaches. I would also like to see the game play continued although those games will need to be half ice per USA Hockey. I feel the skaters need to play the game in order to keep their interest in the sport. USA Hockey will be sending down some changes in the program that we will have to abide by. With these changes we will need to be flexible as an association to accept.
In closing I would like to thank all of the members who devote countless hours to help our association grow and improve each year. Our coaches are top notch and some of the best in the area. Without them we would not be as strong as we are. TYH is highly regarded in the area due to our coaches, board members, parents and skaters. I encourage you to get involved in this great association not only for your skater but for all the kids that chose hockey as a sport they would like to play. Thank you for allowing me to be your President this year. Good luck to all of you in the upcoming year.