A CoachThem Association: North Shore Winter Club | CoachThem

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A CoachThem Association: North Shore Winter Club

A CoachThem Association: North Shore Winter Club

Calling home to the beautiful coastal city of Vancouver, The North Shore Winter Club (NSWC) is lives in the heart of Western Canadian Hockey. With an alumni list that includes Brett Hull, Evander Kane, Joe Sakic and Martin Jones (to name just a few), the club has an incredibly deep history and continued expectations of success.



The NSWC’s newest addition to their leadership team is recently appointed Hockey Director Aaron Wilbur. With an impressive resume coaching in the BCHL, Collegiate and Junior Division— in addition to founding The Coaches Site— it’s safe to say that the club is in good hands.




Our team at CoachThem connected with the NWSC this past year and has been working under our Association Package to build on the development program that has been formed since the club’s founding in 1958. We’re fortunate enough to speak to Aaron about what makes the North Shore Winter Club different from a typical hockey program and how CoachThem fits into their long-term plan.


"What makes us special is that we’re not just a hockey club, we’re a family club”. Aaron explained, “we afford our membership the opportunity where a player is on the ice practicing, their Mom can be playing tennis and their Dad can be in the gym. There really is a community feel there, where we are a central hub for their activities.”


Despite being a mere 20-minute drive to the heart of Vancouver, Aaron described the club to still have that “small town” feel. Reflecting on how he grew up with the game, he shared, “My background in coaching and in playing was in the small towns where the rink was the central hub. You can drop your kid off and know they’re going to be surrounded by good people and be looked after and I think we provide our membership with the same sort of experience.”



Competitive sports like hockey are more than just an individual player’s effort. It’s the community support system that truly leads to the development of the player. From the parents to the coaches and just as important— the Association’s Administration and leadership— they’re all integral pieces to what makes up a positive environment for sports, and that’s exactly what’s preached at the NSWC.



With a tight-knit community and even stronger culture attached to it, personal accountability takes a major role in the mindset of the club’s members and their expectations for success. “With the community, I think we are really special”, Aaron shared. “From a hockey perspective, there are really high expectations as administrators, of our coaches and our volunteers. People join because they want to enhance that experience and we take that seriously, we want to be leaders in that respect. In our day and age, we wouldn’t be leaders if we didn’t leverage technology to better communicate and educate our coaches and membership.”



Aaron also stressed the importance of continuity year to year in how the players develop, regardless of what age or level of team they’re a part of. Being an organization that supports teams from the recreational level, up to the ultra competitive A4 division, the club has set a goal to define NSWC hockey and how it’s taught for every single team.



While the teams want to be successful as a group, they want their players to develop their skills on and off the ice just as much. In their efforts to do so, the club holds multiple coach meetings throughout the season and has added new tech integration from MyTeamGenius for player evaluation, Hudl for video teaching and most recently CoachThem.


"It’s great in theory to say we want all of our coaches to follow the same philosophy and teaching, but it’s another thing to go out execute that. We needed to find a way to get all our coaches on the same page and to follow a similar program and we found that CoachThem was a great tool to do that.”


Apart from providing quality resources for the coaches and increasing continuity in the teams, Aaron also added another case where CoachThem is an asset for the club. “One area that we find conflicts in amateur sports, are those between parents and coaches and administrators when really it comes down to communication. If we can use these apps to say, here are the drills that we’re running at practice, not only to the players but to the parents, they can see it and understand the rationale behind a session- which can help alleviate some tension that’s occurring in amateur sports. We’re finding that the longer that we’ve been using it (CoachThem), the more comfortable our coaches are becoming with the program, making it part of their regular routine.”


Our team at CoachThem is extremely proud to be working with progressive organizations like the North Shore Winter Club and is looking forward to supporting them and their development initiatives for years to come.



Good luck to all NSWC coaches in the second half of your season and keep on #CoachingThem!

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