How To Become a Hockey Coach

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

Step one in becoming a hockey coach is to have a passion for teaching and the sport of hockey. To “coach” a team in hockey is no different a role than for a teacher to “teach a class.” And, much like a teacher, the coach must have a proficient knowledge of the game in order to be successful.

Step 2

Step two in becoming a hockey coach is to gain experience. Knowledge and experience of the game are absolute musts in order to become a good coach, therefore having played before or at least having knownledge of how to play the game and demonstrate techniques(run practice drills) will be necessary.

Step 3

Step three in becoming a hockey coach is determining your coaching “goals.” While coaches of youth and recreation teams do not often seek out their certification, although required, if your goal is to become a certified coach, one that can coach at higher amateur or professional levels, then you will need to seek out and complete the certification courses given by your local Hockey Federation.

Step 4

Step four in becoming a hockey coach is earning your certification. Coaching certification courses are offered in Canada by Hockey Canada, in the United States by USA Hockey, and in Europe, the International Ice-Hockey Federation (IIHF) endorses a Sports and Leisure Bachelor’s degree offered by the Sports Institute of Finland. Although these are the primary options offered by the major Ice Hockey Federations, many universities, both in Europe and North America are now offering coaching degrees through their Sports and Management programs. (For further details on the *Hockey Canada, **USA Hockey and ***IIHF certification standards, consult the special attention section below.)

Step 5

Step five in becoming a hockey coach is completing the national or international requirements of the certification processes offered by your national Ice Hockey Federations(or universities) and then maintaining that certification through renewal and recertification. Following these five steps, whether you wish to be an amateur/recreational coach or whether you aspire to become a professional or national coach, will ensure that you are on the right path to becoming a hockey coach.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

*Hockey Canada: The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) is a competency based certification process for coaches that helps them build their tools and knowledge of the game, regardless of skill level. - ** USA Hockey: The Coaching Education Program (CEP) is a mandatory coaching certification program that must be completed before a person is allowed to coach. The minimum requirement for certification is to complete Level 3 of the CEP. Student coaches, ages 13-17, must complete a standard training course and be supervised at all times. - ***International Ice Hockey Federation: Although the IIHF does not endorse a course certification program of their own, they do conduct regular coaching symposiums and promote the 3.5 year Sports and Leisure Bachelor's Degree, 210 credits, minor in Ice Hockey, offered by the Sports Institute of Finland, home to the Finnish Olympic training center.

Stuff You'll Need

Brand Product Price

Suggested Further Reading

This Student Author

This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

Hockey is a sport that is played worldwide and is growing at a rapid rate, yet the world of hockey is smaller than most would care to think. I discovered this firsthand as, when I was growing up I had the privilege of being taught by two men who went on to become NHL coaches. Although this isn't the case for everyone, it was amazing to watch my "teachers," men who taught me during my formative years, blossom into premier figures in the hockey world. It just goes to show how tightly knit hockey communities are.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

As a young hockey player, I was very fortunate as my father was my very first coach and continued to coach me up until I was 10 years old. Having a coach who continued to teach me lessons long after we left the rink, I grew to understand how important a coach is in helping a player succeed. Although I went on to have other inspirational coaching figures in my life, it was my father who first taught me the value of listening to others and that a coach that truly cares will always go out of their way to make me a better player.

Other Tips from Sean