Sports School Hockey Program
Elite hockey skill and character development for grades 7-12
The Sports School Hockey Program provides the opportunity for students to pursue their personal hockey goals in an environment focused on developing the complete student athlete. Students acquire the strength of character and high-end skill that breeds success in the highly competitive world of hockey - all within the school day for an incomparably low fee. Grade 10-12 students also receive class credits towards graduation.
Individualized On-Ice Skill Work: Owning Your Talent
During our two on-ice sessions per week (8-12, one ice time for 7), athletes’ individual skill work includes:
Explosive agility, top-end speed, elite edge work
Deceptive small area attack and defend strategies for F and D
Puck control and protection
Quick release shooting for power and accuracy
Individual goalie instruction includes: movement patterns, angles, save patterns
We have complemented our skill development programming with high-end training aids including stickhandling and edging equipment from Edgeboss Hockey allowing athletes to perform maximum reps with instant feedback.
Off-ice Power and Conditioning Training: Preparing the Body
Our athletes in grades 10-12 learn skills and habits that allow them to train in season, augmenting their on-ice skill development through weekly gym sessions. During parts of the season where schedules demand a lighter approach on the body, we focus on developing the mindset of a competitor. One resource in this work is Allistair McCaw’s book, Champion Minded but we also work on building our knowledge on topics like sports nutrition.
Impactful Character Education: Living with Purpose
We take pride in the work we do on developing athletes with character who are aware of and prepared to handle the unique challenges that they may face as a competitive hockey player. On the ice, players are challenged daily to push themselves outside of their comfort zones and to expect 100% effort of themselves and their teammates. Discussion topics may include goal setting, try-out strategies, self-motivation, growth mindset, living away from home at billets, athletes navigating party and vaping scene. In past years our group has also taken initiative in numerous community minded activities including raising thousands of dollars to support youth sports in Kimberley and helping with disaster relief efforts, for example, filling and distributing sandbags during flooding.
Q: When is the program offered?
A: Sport School is offered during 1st semester, September to the end of January. This has been adjusted over the years where we’ve learned that extra training in the weeks leading up to and during playoffs is not as impactful and can actually cause fatigue at a time when players should be
Q: What does the weekly schedule look like?
A: Classroom /Workout or Fitness, leadership, and coaching will be the focus of these sessions (Gr. 10-12)
Tuesday: Bus pick-up 11:05 / Ice 11:20-12:30 (Gr. 10-12)
Wednesday: Bus pick-up 12:10 / Ice 12:30-1:45 (Gr. 7-9) / Academic Support (10-12)
Thursday: Meet at arena for Ice 7:50-9:30 (8-12) / Return in time for second block of Explorations (8/9) and Academic Support (10-12)
Friday: Academic Support (10-12)
Q: Does this create disruptions in their academic classes?
A: Very minimal for some and not at all for many. Sports School students in grades 10-12 are enrolled in Sports School as a class and therefore there is zero disruption in their academics. They earn academic support blocks twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays. This is built into the schedule to accommodate athletes who often miss school for the long trips endured given the distance our teams have to cover beyond the East Kootenay. Sports School students in grades 8-9 are absent from two out of six Exploration blocks each week. Exploration classes include art, drama, wood working, and other topics. Core subject areas such as English, Math, Science, and Social Studies are not affected. McKim Sports School students in grade 7 are picked up by bus at the beginning of their Wednesday lunch and return to class early in the afternoon. McKim is very supportive of students participating in our program.
Q: Are there any field trips?
A: Over the last number of years there has been an annual training trip to Calgary (grades 8-12) where students work with skill coaches during an ice session and with elite strength and conditioning coaches during a gym session. This two day, one night trip exposes our athletes to influential voices from the hockey world that frequently work with professional athletes. We also schedule the trip around a NHL game which is a memorable experience for all.
Q: Is there a fee for Sports School?
A: For the five months that Sports School is offered, Grade 8-12 students are expected to pay $100/month while grade 7 students pay $50/month. This fee is all-inclusive, includes a jersey that students keep, and all money is used to cover costs of operating the program (ice rental, transportation, training aids, specialist coaches) and funds special events such as the awards luncheon and partially funds the Calgary training trip. The Sports School program is NOT FOR PROFIT in any way, shape, or form. If there are excess funds remaining at the end of the year, families are reimbursed their share of the monies remaining.
Q: Who teaches/coaches Sports School?If you have any further questions, please contact Carson Loftsgard by email.
A: Carson Loftsgard is the Sports School teacher/coach. As a player, ‘Lofty’ earned a gold medal at the Canada Games (U17) in 1995 and a national runner-up at the junior A level as a member of the Melfort Mustangs. He is an accredited Hockey Canada Development 1 coach, an assistant coach with the Kimberley Dynamiters and coaches numerous minor hockey teams in Kimberley. Carson also teaches other subjects at Selkirk including Math, Science, Social Studies, and Leadership.
Sports School is also supported by its founder Jerry Bancks, a former assistant coach with the Kootenay Ice and decorated head coach with the Kimberley Dynamiters. The program is supported by player mentors from the Kimberley Dynamiters.