Coach Conroy’s Coaching Philosophy

Hi all!

When a family chose’s to play on a team the most important thing to consider is the Head Coach that will be helping your player to achieve new heights.

To this end, I am clearly setting forth how I am and what is important to me to assist you in choosing to play or NOT for Conroy Hockey.

To be clear I am seeking players that want to succeed and that will not shy away at the first sign of adversity. Toughness matters.

One thing I’m big on is roles and responsibilities so I’ll start with my role. 

HEAD COACH and TEAM OWNER. The movie Coach Carter is worth watching.  I aspire to be that man and it is frankly a very good and true story.  Watch it with your kids if you can find it, please.

To me, my role is to make your kid a better hockey player and prepare them for the next year and further teach them great values and respect for the game.

Without a doubt, I’m a tough coach but the kids like me because I’m blunt, honest, and sincere and I know what I’m doing.

Players will play equally as my job is to DEVELOP them you are paid you to play unless you’re Benched.

I am passionate and protective about “my kids”! Once you are my kid I will support you in all things to the best of my ability. Let me teach your kids to be a good hockey player and to be a good kid.

I will do what I think is best for the team based solely on my knowledge and background, I have no ulterior motives I am here to make the kids better hockey players and I do this for a living.

I promise to do my best but what I can’t promise is that you’ll always love it but I would ask that you give me your trust and your patience.

The theme of this year is the letter P just like in Sesame Street this year is all about the letter P!!!


I ask that you support me 100% in achieving my goals as I am expert at making kids better hockey players and better kids.

If our parents aren’t supporting our plans and progress this can be a huge problem so don’t sign up if you are not onboard with all that is written here.

Unless there is a real problem neither I nor the Team Manager want to hear about it. We know what we are doing and don’t expect to receive any minor concerns, legitimate questions are fine of course. I am not tolerant of rumors and stupidity. IT is about the TEAM.

The parents of my teams need to support what I’m doing.  If you have questions ask me, I’m glad to talk hockey, I’m glad to discuss the “methods to my madness” but please don’t talk to me before a hockey game I’m actually kind of focused, thinking, planning and in a bit of a zone.

NO screaming at your kid or anyone else’s. Please also be a good parent I’m attaching a link to an article I wrote called a bad dad.  The bad dad of course was me and to this day the look on my child’s face haunts me luckily, I figured it out when he was six and I became a far better hockey parent loving and supporting and teaching my child at a young age and it worked out for the best.

We will have a preseason team meeting with Parents to address questions. I will take the time to explain things to the parents so that we’re all singing the same tune and trying to get the children to go in the same direction I think that’s important so again I reiterate please feel free to ask me for clarification on things.


Conroy’s are not big people, my brother played in the NHL at 5 foot 8, my son Ryan is at Yale playing hockey at 5 foot 8 and me the unskilled one played a high level of hockey at 5 foot 7.

Passion and Power matter, not size.

I coach and teach aggressive teams, I will teach your children to play aggressively and confidently and to fear no one that is the only way to play the game of hockey.

“Moms” cover your eyes with this next part but on the ice, I expect the kids to be bullies on the ice.  We are there to impose our will, we are there to dominate, we are there to work our hardest and to win!  That is how I approach the game of hockey.

We will experience some injuries, we will all experience pain that’s to be expected, but we will play aggressively all of the time and the kids will love it trust me.

This team is expected to:      • Work hard 100% of the time including practices.
     • Love short shifts.
     • Be first to the puck.
     • Be checked and will check.
     • Protect our goalie and stand up for each other.
     • Get a few SMART penalties.
     • Get a lot of power plays because teams will be mad at us for getting for showing our passion


We will be positive, we will be prepared, we will never quit, we will try our hardest all of the time.

Lessons can be learned in every shift and every game we play, losing means that we lost on the scoreboard only and we can gain a lot from a loss so we will be positive.


As players get older, positional play becomes more and more important, more strategic, and more critical to success.  Learning your position with me will help your player to do better at the next level.

We are going to learn to play our position at a high level and to do our job and work as a complete unit on the ice. 

I’m sure that we have kids of varying skill levels all I care about is that each kid does their job to the best of their ability if we do that, we will be successful.

In the beginning, we will play our position to a fault in order to become very good at playing our position there will be some failures it will cost us some goals perhaps even cost us some hockey games but the end will justify the means.

The kids will learn to shift positions and to constantly adjust to the realities of the game.


As mentioned above I’m confident we will have several powerplays this year I want to have a success rate exceeding 25%. 

We are going to do a lot of work on positioning and once we learn our positions everything will be better.


Sadly, by far the worst skill have most kids this age is passing and we’re going to become a team of expert passers. 

Passing the puck effectively is the great equalizer old Mr. Gretzky was a great passer, not a great physical specimen Johnny Gaudreau also not a great physical specimen but is a great passer and the list goes on and on we will focus on passing we will become expert passers.


Practices are not for conditioning.  The kids are expected to exercise on their own and to attend my other skills camps.

Practices are for strategic and tactical developments the players will be expected to condition themselves.  The kids will work hard 100% of the time in practice.

Attached as my practice rules LEARN THEM.  Our practices will follow a consistent routine allowing the players to be ready and able. This will change over the year as our needs change.

If we are 20% better at our practices than another team sooner or later, we will become 20% better than them.

We will also create some handouts a play book if you will.

If you don’t practice you don’t play with “intelligence” as we have some unique things going on with kids being located far away.


The single best and easiest way to become a better hockey player is to become more physically stronger and more powerful and this takes zero talent, zero dollars, it’s simply takes the will to want to become bigger and stronger. To be effective playing my style of game we need to be strong.

I expect, I repeat, I expect the players to exercise a minimum of two to three hours a week and practice and Gym class do not count as exercise. 

Exercise is pure exercise for the sole purpose of getting stronger as directed by the program we will be preparing.

This is at home in the morning or in the evening on the weekends 30 to 45 minutes a day, focused exercise so that these players can become more powerful.  When my eldest was 13 he was exercising 5 hours a week.

The lack of strength and power in most kids this age today is a bit embarrassing for me, so let’s fix that.


We will play defense super aggressively, hyper aggressively, a defenseman will never be more than 10 to 15 meters from the puck at any time. 

You prevent offense by playing aggressive defense, we will be in their face, we will be stopping them at their blue line, not our ringette line.  Defensemen who lag up the ice will not play much.  Short shifts, sprint EVERYWHERE.

ASSISTANT COACHES (I can’t fit a p in there)

I will have three people on the bench, myself and two assistant coaches. 

IF you are interested you need a strong knowledge of the game and a complete commitment to my way of doing things. Your opinion as an Asst Coach matters and will be sought out regularly.

Different perspectives are welcome but not different philosophies.

  1. We coach on the bench!  We don’t yell, we don’t tell players what to do during the game, and we coach and teach on the bench.   Only my voice will be heard during a game.
  2. We lead, we wear helmets at practice fastened up on the ice, and we demonstrate and teach.
  3. It is my way only, until such time as learning people help me to change my way.  I am sure we will learn and evolve and I have no problems admitting to my mistakes. .
  4. Assistant coaches don’t have the luxury of watching the game, you need to be aware of what’s happening so that we can make effective changes and coach the players once they are on the bench.
  5. a. Please note: we don’t just criticize, we compliment 2/3, 1/3 yes, we want to correct behavior but also, we want to acknowledge great behavior and reinforce when they do as we require and show them why doing what we want works.
  6. If you’re an assistant coach you’re not there to help your kid you’re there to help the team.
  7. I would prefer some one that is positive and upbeat, I am not a “rah rah” type coach, more of a serious, let’s get to work kind of coach.
  8. More than needing knowledgeable hockey people I need assistant coaches that will support and reinforce what I want the team to do so please consider that before approaching me.  I’m glad to teach assistant coaches, frankly, I consider myself a teacher, I enjoy teaching, I invite questions.
  9. a. I’m still learning, we’re all still learning and I’m sure that we will change a couple of things this season but I have a plan, the plan will change of course once we see what kind of team, we have what are strengths and weaknesses are we need to play and plan to our strengths and weaknesses.

So, if you want to be an assistant coach please consider the foregoing before approaching me.


I have literally spent hours thinking about team rules but at this time I don’t want to put them out there in a formal sense. 

We have practice rules we’ll start with those practice rules that will apply to our games I believe most of its covered there.

A couple of my rules are:

  1. I am Coach, Sir, Mr. Conroy, and Coach Conroy to the kids.  George is my name.  Old-school respect and discipline are PARAMOUNT!
    1. The same goes for Asst Coaches and Managers. RESPECT.
  2. No cell phones in the dressing room or at off ice practices.
  3. If you lie down on the ice, you are injured and you will not play for the foreseeable future.
  4. If you disrespect the game; which means the referees, the other team, our coaches, your parents, you will not play for the foreseeable future.
  5. We play tough, but not dirty.  Dirty is hitting from behind and stickwork above the thighs.  Dirty play will get you benched.
  6. I will bench players, I have no issue with benching players for bad behavior, a refusal to listen and learn or disrespect or injury.
  7. I believe in rolling the lines. I will create balanced lines; each line will be a threat at this time I have no idea what the lines are will figure that out.<
  8. I WANT A LARGE ROSTER 19 kids  We will need a large roster so reach out and find us some more players, please.
  9. I am the short-shift king.  I love short shifts, shifts may be as short as 10 or 12 seconds when I say change, we will change.  Your kid will have 15 to 18 shifts a period. 
    1. I expect complete commitment to this.  I expect 100% work effort 100% of the time.


Things I don’t have a strong opinion on include:
     • Dress Code: Even though I own more suits than most I have not yet realized the effect a dress code has on play. I leave it to the team to decide on our dress code.
       I think we should look good but I also don’t believe we need to put people in a financial predicament to look good
       For assistant coaches, I need a dress shirt and a tie underneath our jackets for games.  Slacks or Black Jeans.
     • Pre Game Warm up: for me as a player I warmed up very lightly!  Stretching was not a thing in our day and I definitely paid the price with 237 pulled groins.  For me personally I liked to harness my energy and I exploded with the first shift and each shift after.
       Assistant Coaches can decide and lead an off ice warm up if that’s what we decide.
     • Being ready:  I want the kids completely dressed and ready 7 minutes before a practice and game, helmets and gloves off.
             o Linemates and D partner and goalies will sit together.        I know the kids aren’t able to drive themselves and parents are busy so being there an hour or 90 minutes before a game is often not achievable and kids shouldn’t be punished for such things.
     • Showering: I think kids of this age should shower but I’m old and old fashioned so I’ll leave that to the team.
     • Pool time: I know kids love the pool but the pool drains energy, the pool is not good for kids that are trying to perform at their next hockey game personally even when my son was as young as six or seven, we were very focused on hockey and succeeding at hockey and it worked but we need to have fun also the team can decide on this.  Our out-of-town trips are busy and REST is needed.
         I will forward an article to the Team on post-game nutrition and breathing.

What I do expect is common sense and a respect for the game. 

It is by far the toughest and greatest game on the planet.  If you want some counsel on how better to be prepared, please ask me. 

I do expect everyone is here to do as well as possible I don’t think I need to dictate everything, but I invite you to ask me my thoughts I will most certainly share them I am an older parent than you guys and for my whole life I have been a part of significant hockey success. 

My younger brother, Al not Craig, still has the scoring records in Medicine Hat, played in the AJHL at 15, then 4 years in the WHL, played World Juniors and then played pro hockey for 16 years including 3 for the Flyers and finally coached in the WHL for 3. 

My eldest son, Ryan played in the AJHL at 16, captained an All Star AJHL team at 18 that travelled to Russia and was the league heavyweight at 18. Captained his team at 18.  He is currently at Yale University on a hockey scholarship.

Both are only 5 8 and neither had any financial advantages that’s for sure, hell my father could not even skate. 

They got to where they are based on their toughness, a strong confidence in themselves (this is SO IMPORTANT) their desire to be stronger, their willingness to do what it takes, and their work ethic.  All of us have those options and many have the possibilities.

Me I was the “smart” one, physically equal to my brother but lacked confidence and that was the difference.  Since 2005 I have been teaching kids, skills, confidence and toughness.

I know what it takes to for your kids to be successful in hockey and I will do my best to lead you all towards that and that to me is my job.

Good luck to us all.

Contact me any time to talk hockey.

Coach Conroy