Summer spent camping with the Chiefs

Minor hockey players looking for high-level training have two options available to them in August.

Chilliwack Chiefs head coach Jason Tatarnic leads a full slate of hockey camps this summer, including two unique offerings in August.

“Right from July on there’s smaller camps focused on puck control, body contact and fundamentals,” Tatarnic said. “There’s a goaltending camp. A shooting-scoring-passing camp. A camp for girls. There’s a lot of variety.”

The first of the unique camps, Aug. 17-21, is a high level offering for atom-through-midget aged players.

“It’s a little more intense with four hours of ice time and two hours of off-ice training,” the coach explained. “We’ll do on and off ice testing. We’ll be able to provide live video analysis of skating.”

“We’ll have power skating sessions daily, and at the end of the week they’ll receive a scouting report on their test scores and stuff to work on.”

That camp is based more on the offensive skills — skating, shooting and passing.

A second camp follows the week after, Aug. 24-28, with an individualized format where the player drives their curriculum.

“It’ll be the same thing where there’s four hours of ice time per day, and we’ll still run them through certain drills to work on fundamentals,” Tatarnic noted. “But after that, if a player wants to work on his wrist or slap shot, then that’s what we’ll work on. It’s tailor-made for what the player wants to improve on.”

The camp features a two-player-to-one-instructor ratio, with Chiefs players helping out.

“When you have that ratio you’ve got instruction and feedback right away,” Tatarnic said. “If you’re struggling with something, you don’t have to wait five or 10 minutes for someone to pull you aside.”

Before coming to the camp, players are expected to come up with a plan.

“It’s not something where they decide on the spot, ‘This is something I want to work on today,’” Tatarnic noted. “They have to sit down with their parents, do some planning and come up with some structure.”

Tatarnic is looking for 30 kids per camp.

“It’s amazing what kids come up with, and you’d be surprised what some of the atom kids want to work on,” he said. “One timers. Shooting in motion. They come up with some challenging things.

One thing Tatarnic is interested to watch is how his junior A players interact with the youngsters.

“You stress with them to go back to the fundamentals,” he said. “If a kid wants to work on his wrist shot, break the mechanics down, and I find it’s beneficial for older players to teach, because it takes them back to fundamentals.”

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