RED DEER - Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Month for October, sponsored by Players Bench Team Apparel, is Shawn Hodgins of Wabasca.
Shawn is currently head coach of the Wabasca U18 Eagles and also an assistant coach with the Wabasca U13 Eagles. Over the past ten years, he has coached nearly every level of hockey with four different Minor Hockey Associations (Bow Island, High Level, Medicine Hat, and Wabasca).
As an RCMP officer, Shawn sees the importance of being involved in the community that he polices, a lesson that he learned from his father. His goal is to utilize hockey to engage the local public and interact with community members while not on duty. He achieves this by building a strong bond with the players on his team, and renting additional ice for the RCMP to interact, teach, and socialize with local youth.
"As a head coach and an assistant, Coach Shawn took it upon himself to learn as much as he could about the Metis and Dene population, which allowed him to associate personally with the Indigenous kids on the team," said the parent who submitted the nomination. "He has utilized his ability to gain buy-in from the players he coaches by encouraging them to take chances and play hockey without fear of making mistakes."
Shawn spends the majority of his free time at the rink, as he also volunteers as an official and was a minor hockey board member for ten years. When at home, he spends his time watching and cheering on the Edmonton Oilers and Saskatchewan Roughriders.
"Hockey should be an escape from the stresses in each player’s life, so it is imperative that coaches foster an atmosphere which is free from consequences for trying and failing," said Shawn. "Coaches can empower every player by highlighting their importance to the team no matter what their skill level may be."
The Coach of the Month award is presented every month during the Minor Hockey season, based on nominations submitted to Hockey Alberta.
Minor hockey coaches will be selected throughout the hockey season and will receive a coaching package from Players Bench Team Apparel valued at over $500, which includes a helmet, gloves, track suit, coach bag, puck bag, rink board, and coaching resources.