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Coaching Information

EYHA Coaching Applications Available

Link to applications on image.


EYHA is accepting coaching applications. Use the link at the bottom of this section.


The criteria for coaching selection includes evidence of alignment with the following core values:

SPORTSMANSHIP: Foremost of all values is to learn a sense of fair play. Be humble in victory, gracious in defeat. We will foster friendship with teammates and opponents alike. 

RESPECT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL: Treat all others as you expect to be treated. 

INTEGRITY: Work to foster honesty and fair play beyond mere strict interpretation of the rules and regulations of the game. 

PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE AT THE INDIVIDUAL, TEAM, AND ORGANIZATIONAL LEVELS: Each member of the organization, whether player, volunteer or staff, should seek to perform each aspect of the game to the highest level of his or her ability. 

ENJOYMENT: It is important for the hockey experience to be fun, satisfying and rewarding for the participant. 

LOYALTY: We aspire to teach loyalty to the ideals and fellow members of the sport of hockey. 

TEAMWORK: We value the strength of learning to work together. The use of teamwork is reinforced and rewarded by success in the hockey experience. 

All EYHA Coaches must:

  • Be registered with USA Hockey for the current hockey season
  • Be compliant with age appropriate USA Hockey coaching education program (CEP) requirements.  For more information on the USA Hockey coaching education program, visit
  • Pass a background check (link above)
  • Complete Safe Sport training



2019-2020 Coaching Guidelines

If you are planning to coach for EYHA in the 2018-2019 season please review the attached document to ensure that you are properly certified.

Volunteer Registration Link

 Parent volunteers serving as locker room monitors must submit USAH Confirmation numbers through the registration below.

This registration needs to be completed once teams are selected.

USA Hockey / VSAHA Background Check

This is the background check form required from all coaches, locker room monitors and other volunteers as requested.

Updated background checks are required every 2 years. 



Level T2 AA Philosophy: (10U Squirt AA, 12U PeeWee AA, 14U Bantam AA, and Girls 10U,12U,14U)

Essex Youth Hockey supports all players being involved in each and every game they dress for.  Unless approved by the board, all players need to have a meaningful playing experience* in every game including tournaments and the states. We strongly suggest that player development and having fun outweigh “winning at all costs”.  Some players may receive more ice time than others on special teams (i.e. power plays, penalty kills) or late in close games or in tournament championship games but we believe that the “shortening of the bench” should be a rare occurrence and not the norm for our AA teams.  We have proven throughout the years that playing everyone effectively results in a better team effort, stronger 3rd period and more often than not, a positive outcome. 

Level T3 A and T4 B Philosophy: (10U Squirt A&B,  12U PeeWee A&B, 14U Bantam A&B, and Girls 10U,12U,14U)

Players on this level will have equal playing time, but Coaches may have the discretion to involve the players that he/she sees fit in critical game situations in tournaments but shall strive to involve everyone on special team play.  

Coaches are permitted to "bench" players for reasons related to player control, code of conduct violations, and when enforcing published and communicated team rules.  When coaches do this they should inform the EYHA Head Coach.  The association will support coaches having high expectations for commitment and conduct. 

Any coach who doesn't follow the philosophy could face an informal hearing where sanctioning ranging from reprimand to dismissal will be considered. 

Any questions please contact EYHA Head Coach Mike Smith.

"Never lose sight that we coach for the players ~ not for the parents or for ourselves." Dennis Freed

Small Area Games for FUN Practices

Small area games are all the rage in youth hockey. For good reason as they develop game skills and are FUN! This free printable guide is an excellent resource.

Hockey Positions Diagram

A coach's plea for players to "play their POSITION" can fall on deaf ears if the players do not understand the basics of each position. This diagram shows common areas covered by each position.

Rink Zones

Ever tell a player to, "go up the boards, through the red zone and break for the slot...." only to have them look even more confused. This diagram shows Rink Zones by their common names.

Developmental Characteristics of Youth: Implications for Coaches

As coaches prepare to work with kids around the experiential learning process (playing hockey), they must consider the age group involved and tailor the steps of the experiential learning process accordingly.

They must utilize teaching and learning strategies consistent with the developmental characteristics of their learners.

Since our levels (mites, squirts, etc) are by age group characteristics of the age groups involved should dictate appropriate and effective coaching and teaching strategies to use.

Developmental research (from the University of California) suggests that certain types of learning activities are best suited for certain children's capabilities.

At the coaches meeting each coach was given developmental infomation about the players on their team.  The work is  educational and intended for teachers -- but is it echoed by USA Hockey's ACE Program.  Introducing players to concepts and skills when they are ready for them is important.  There are links below to helpful resources and suggestions for each age group.  [Source: Univ. of California] 

Practice Planning Tools, Drills and Videos

Third Man High Drill

2 Point Shot Game

Designated Shooter Game

Regroup Game

Back Check Game

Mancini 2v2 Small Area Game

Breakout Forecheck Modified Regroup Game

Goal Line Small Area Game