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The information below was sent by USA Hockey to coaches in Michigan on September 16.   Many coaches have opted-out of these emails, so the content is shared here as well...

Michigan Hockey is Back!

Before jumping into Coaching matters, let me remind everyone that the Coronavirus is still a risk, and it can affect younger people just as seriously as other “Vulnerable” populations.  USA Hockey and the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association have continued to provide detailed information and best practices for coaching and playing hockey in this environment.   Keeping current with and following these practices will help prevent us from being “shut down” again.   Please do your part!   Thank you.

Coaching Education for Fall, 2020

Our coaching clinic program is underway.  Clinic Schedules will continue to be posted throughout September and October in the Coaches section of the USA Hockey web site.  Remember coaches, you can actually attend a clinic at your level from anywhere in the country, so choose one that fits your schedule and have a good time interacting with coaches from around the U.S.   If you don’t know what you need to do for your coach training, contact your association’s Coaching Director.   Remember, this needs to be complete by 12/31/2020.

And…for those who, for any reason, cannot participate in a coaching clinic this season, USA Hockey is allowing you to obtain a Temporary Coaching Card by applying online in the Coaches section of   Deadline for Temp Card application is also 12/31/2020.  This is especially directed at those who cannot easily participate in “virtual” training, but is not restricted to those people.

SPECIAL – Coaching Webinars on Specialty Topics

USA Hockey’s Michigan Coaching Program is organizing (at least) four special webinars for you this fall.  Anyone can watch “live” on the Michigan Amateur Hockey YouTube channel.  Just visit YouTube and search for “Michigan Amateur Hockey”.   You’ll find the webinars Live during the times below, or archived if you want to watch them at a later date/time.  Mark your calendar to participate “Live”, via YouTube and YouTube Chat


September 30    8:00 PM               Marcie Kierpiec                                 Providing Effective Skating Instruction

October 8            8:00 PM               Brian Sipotz                                        Developing Physical Literacy in your players

Week of October 19 (tbd)            Joe Provenzano/Bob Mancini      Training Body Contact for 10U, 12U, 14U

Week of November 2 (tbd)          Tobias Johannson (Sweden)        Coaching The Individual Player


Watch the MAHA Coaches Page ( for specifics on the last two webinars.   Any of these webinars can help to make you a better youth coach!


Now that we are starting the new season, I encourage you to (1) work with your club’s Coaching Director to make your association better, (2) think about what (else) you can do to improve your coaching, and (3) focus on coaching every one of your athletes to the best of your ability.   Do these, and you’ll have a successful and memorable season.  

Thank you, again, for coaching in USA Hockey!!

Jack Witt – Michigan District Coach in Chief

USA Hockey Adopts New Coach Requirement, effective 2021

On June 13, USA Hockey adopted significant revisions to its coaching education requirements.  The changes, which were developed over a two year research project, are effective for the 2021-22 season.  For more specific information, refer to Coaching Requirements on this web site.

USA Hockey Announces Virtual Clinics, Extends Temporary Card option

All registered coaches were sent this email by USA Hockey on July 17.  If you opt-out of USA Hockey emails, you will not have received it, so the contents are provided here.

Greetings USA Hockey Coaches:

The safety and well being of our 60,000 registered coaches is the top priority of USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program. As the coronavirus pandemic continues on into the summer, we have decided to extend the registration for the temporary coaching card until Dec. 31, 2020.

Please remember that if you sign up for a temporary card you do not have to register for a virtual coaching clinic. Coaches who do both will not be eligible for a refund.

Click here to register for the temporary card online or download the form that you will need to complete and submit to the USA Hockey national office.

In addition, as part of our continuing efforts to improve educational opportunities for all registered coaches, USA Hockey’s board of directors recently approved legislation designed to expand the guidelines for the Coaching Education Program. The new criteria takes affect starting with the 2021-22 season.

The biggest change is that all coaching clinics, from Level 1 to Level 4 will be one-day events and will cost one standard fee ($50).

Each year a coach will be required to advance their level of certification by attending a clinic that corresponds with their next level of certification, such as a Level 1 coach this year must complete his or her Level 2 certification next season, and so on until they achieve Level 4 certification. After that, coaches will be required to earn five continuing education credits over the next three years.

Credits will be earned through a variety of educational opportunities that will be clarified at a later date.

Coaches who complete their Level 4 certification before the start of the 2021-22 season and are not coaching a Tier I or Tier II team will be grandfathered in and will not have to take additional courses unless they choose to.

In the meantime, we hope that you and your family are staying healthy and safe and following the prescribed guidelines set forth by state, local and national healthcare agencies. It will take a team effort to defeat the coronavirus so we can all return to the ice in a safe and timely manner.

Yours in hockey.

USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program

Introduction to the USA Hockey Coaching Education Program

Welcome to the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) web site, and thank you for your interest in the Coaching Education Program, one of USA Hockey's educational offerings.

Coaches - you are the reason our program exists.  You have taken on a demanding job.  We want to be a resource for you, to help you do the best job you are able to do.  After all, parents and players have a right to expect that you are doing your best for every player on the team.  Let us help you move them to the next level, whatever that may be.  In the process, you may discover that coaching is something you enjoy, and are good at. 

We believe that coaches are a prime influence in the lives of young people, and that coaching education is a potent force for the betterment of every participant's hockey experience.  Through our programs, you may be able to move to the next level as well!

If you are looking for specific information on coaching in Michigan, please review the links at the top of this page.    We also recommend reviewing the Coaches tab of the USA Hockey web site.

In closing, let's consider what the U.S. Olympic Committee has to say about Coaching:  "To coach effectively, it is not enough to have played or watched the sport, or to have merely read about how to coach.  Quality coaching requires essential professional, interpersonal, and intrapersonal knowledge used in coaching practice to meet the needs of athletes in that setting.   Informed daily decisions and behaviors that serve the best interest of the athletes, the team, and the program are the ultimate demonstration of quality coaching."*

*from USOC Quality Coaching Framework, 2019

Michigan Coaching Webinars - 2020-2021 Season

UPCOMING  on these dates.  (Times are Eastern Time Zone)

September 30, 8 PM  - Effective Skating Instruction

October 8, 8 PM - Developing Physical Literacy in Your Athlete

October - TBD - Teaching Body Contact

November 5, 7 PM - Coaching the Individual Athlete *

Each of the above will be live streamed on Michigan Amateur Hockey YouTube channel.   On YouTube, search "Michigan Amateur Hockey" to locate it.  

* November 5 is earlier because the presenter is live from Sweden.


USA Hockey's Coaching Education Program hosted a  webinar for Michigan coaches on Tuesday June 16.  The title was "Coaching During a Pandemic".  It can still be viewed on the Michigan Amateur Hockey YouTube channel.

Coaching Tips for a Safe/Successful Season

USA Hockey's Coaching Education Program has some recommendations for coaches in this unusual time.   See:  

Not Able to Attend a Clinic in 2020?

Updated July 17...In the letter from USA Hockey on this page, coaches who (a) don't feel comfortable with being at an in person clinic, or (b) don't have the ability to actively participate in an online clinic, may request a Temporary Coaching Card for 2020-2021.  Read the letter posted on this page for specifics.   The deadline was extended until the end of 2020, because of the uncertainty of the pandemic's impact in various parts of the U.S.

Practice Plans from USA Hockey

Did you know that USA Hockey has produced practice plan suggestions for 8U, 10U, 12U, and for the Covid-19 Pandemic?  You can find them at 

2020 Level 5 Postponed to August, 2021

The Level 5 (National Hockey Coaching Symposium) has been postponed due to the Coronavirus.  The rescheduled dates are August 19-22, 2021, in Duluth, MN.  

Should a coach always wear a helmet?

The unexpected can happen any time.  What do you think would have happened to this coach had he not been wearing his helmet?