Holy Name Youth Hockey provides an environment where all players have the opportunity to develop a long-term passion and appreciation for ice hockey through individual skill development, teamwork, competitive play and camaraderie.
While games are great fun, practice and core-hockey skill development are the keys to a hockey player's improvement and advancement in the game. Priority will be placed on improving our players' skills through multiple touches, effort and proper technique. We hope to accomplish this by emphasizing good coaching at every level, running efficient and fast-moving practices, and focusing on individual-skill development. Again, we want what is best for your children during the season, and this usually happens when they are appropriately challenged but also given frequent opportunities for on-ice success.
Honoring Timothy A. Sears
Timothy A. Sears
Timothy Allen Sears, longtime resident of Springfield, passed away peacefully on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 20th, 2015, after a courageous battle with ALS. Born in Springfield, the only child of Francis and Gloria (née Perry) Sears, Tim grew up in the Forest Park neighborhood. His father, Francis, a Springfield Police detective, died in the line of duty in 1967. Tim forged a strong bond with his mother’s second husband, Captain James Williams, also with the Springfield Police Department, who took him to Vermont on hunting trips. After his 1970 graduation from Springfield Tech High School, he earned a BA in Business Management from American International College, where he also nurtured a great love for hockey, playing goaltender through his college years. Tim began his career over 40 years ago in commercial real estate at Northeast Savings Bank in Hartford. He continued his stellar career developing new locations for Jiffy Lube, Boston Market, and Wendy’s. His greatest professional success was his 13+ years as Senior Director with Rite Aid Corporation where he developed over 200 locations for the company. In 2008, he joined Centerplan Development Company of Middletown, CT, where he passionately served as Vice President of Retail Development until his retirement in 2014. Though his work obliged him to travel widely, he always rejoiced upon his return to “Springy.” He was proud of his hometown, where he bought a house next door to his mother and began his own family, raising a son and a daughter. Coaching hockey became one of the greatest joys of his life. He led the Holy Name Youth Hockey Stars and the Springfield Junior Pics, two teams his son played for, as well as the teams from Cathedral High School and Westfield State University. He was an unflagging competitor and was extremely pleased to coach many championship teams. An avid runner, he twice accomplished his greatest adventure, running the Grand Canyon “rim to rim.” He devoted many hours cheering on his beloved Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, and Celtics. Family will remember Tim as a tireless provider and relentless protector. Friends will remember him as loyal, thoughtful and, as he would be the first to admit, astonishingly accident-prone. All will remember him for his inexhaustible spirit, uncompromising values and captivating grin. He was a man of many words and was always willing to start a conversation with whomever he met. His celebrated “gift of gab”, though sometimes exasperating to his family, caused him to forge connections far and wide. Tim always kept friends close to his heart, if not close to his home. He was not one to boast, and he was quick to award credit and praise to his colleagues. He was a man of great love. His spirit was that of a simpler time: he provided for his family; he stayed true to his morals; he upheld tradition; he kept his commitments; and he was generous to a fault. He was a man of his word, a man of his family, a man of his God. Tim is predeceased by his father, Francis (1967); his mother, Gloria (2008); and his stepfather, Captain James Williams (2007). He is survived by his former wife, Jessica Flanagan-Sears, of Springfield, and his loving partner, Carrie Hoffman, of Pitman, NJ, as well as her daughter, Caroline Hoffman. He also leaves behind his son, Ryan C. Sears, of Stockbridge, MA, and his daughter, Amanda C. Warwick, of Chicopee, MA. Amanda and her husband, Chris Warwick, have three children, the grandchildren Tim called the “loves of his life” and for whom his adoration cannot be quantified: Audrey, 9, Ashlyn, 5, and Declan, 3. Tim’s legacy is one of love, generosity, faith, and fortitude. At the end of his life, in reference to his daily battle with ALS and its’ accompanying pain, he would quote his Italian grandfather, Anthony Perry: “What are you going to do? One foot in front of the other.” A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 29, at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Pitman, NJ. Calling hours will be Saturday, May 30, between 10:00 a.m. and noon, with a memorial service to follow, at Sampson’s Chapel of the Acres, 21 Tinkham Road, Springfield, MA. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Holy Name Hockey Association at P.O. Box 661, West Springfield, MA 01090.
This is a friendly reminder about the 2015-2016 ice fees. Please ignore this email if you have returned your payment authorization form.
Payments in full can be made by returning the form or send a check.
Holy Name Hockey is a volunteer run organization committed to making youth hockey available to all interested families. We rely on the timely collection of ices fees to cover the costs associated with our program. All members will (1) pay their total ice fee by July 1 or (2) establish a recurring payment over a seven (7) month period (June -December) with their credit/debit card.
2015-2016 Season Ice Fees:
Mini-Mite: $525 or $75/mo.
Mite: $1,225 or $175/mo.
Squirt: $1,540 or $220/mo.
Pee Wee: $1,610 or $230/mo.
Bantam: $1,750 or $250/mo.
Please complete and return the attached form to HNH P.O. Box 661 West Springfield, MA 01090 or by email to email@example.com. This form must be returned no later than May 15th.
Holy Name Hockey has a strict “No pay, no play” policy. Failure to make timely tuition payments (without communication with the HNH Treasurer to establish alternate arrangements) will result in a player being removed from all on-ice activities.
Thank you for your understanding.
Enjoy the summer.
Holy Name Hockey
P.O. Box 661
West Springfield, MA 01090
Please take a moment to read Mary Kate's story and support one of our coaches and moms on her quest to complete the 2015 IRONMAN to benefit her friend who is battling Multiple Myeloma.
I am racing in honor of my dear friend Sue, who was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2006. She underwent her first stem cell transplant in 2010 and amazingly returned back to all the things she loves. She loves hockey, vacations on the beach and country concerts with her buddies. In order to continue her journey, she needs to undergo her second stem cell transplant in the coming weeks.
Multiple myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and, sadly, has one of the lowest five-year relative survival rates of all cancers. But while there is no cure, great progress is being made.
In my own life journey, I am turning 40 and want complete an Ironman. While researching this, I found that the Lake Placid Ironman official charity is the Muliple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and I knew this was something I had to do. I will be participating in the 2015 IRONMAN Lake Placid on July 26, 2015 as part of the MMRF Team For Cures. An Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. Training for this event is a big commitment and sacrifice on behalf of my family, but nothing compared to the challenges faced by Sue as she battles multiple myeloma.
The MMRF is one of the most highly regarded cancer foundations in the world. An outstanding 90% of the total MMRF budget goes directly towards research and related programming. And the MMRF is in the top 1% of all charities, having earned Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating for the past eleven years in a row.
Please support my participation in the 2015 IRONMAN Lake Placid benefiting the MMRF. I have made a commitment to raise at least $5,000, and I need your help to get there. Please contribute whatever you can. It all adds up!
In fact, he didn’t point a single finger at anything that happened in Malmo, Sweden, but pointed, instead, directly back home to what is not happening in every local rink in the country.
“It’s where we’re at with the development state in our country,” he told reporters.
In a TSN interview, Sutter went deeper: “Development starts at bantam age, at pee wee age, development starts at 10 years of age.
“It’s not about X’s and O’s and those types of things – it’s about development and skills and skating. You see how some of these teams in Europe, how they’ve done a remarkable job with that, and it’s something, I think, in our country we have to evaluate.
“There’s too much focus on winning and losing at such a young age and not enough about the skill part of it and the skating part of it, because that’s truly where it starts,” he said. “I’d personally like to see more skill, more creativity, because we had to play against it here and we got beat by it some nights.”
There is a North American attitude toward hockey practice that is simply bad. You can see it in the youngsters who don’t want to get out of bed for the 6:00 a.m. ice time and you can even see it at virtually any NHL practice.
Once the coach’s whistle blows long, most (but not all) North Americans head for the dressing room, while the Europeans tend to stay out – fooling about on the ice the way North American kids only do now on outdoor rinks.
No one, however, hates practice as much as the North American parent. Since they have to bring the child to the rink, they want a return on that investment of time. Games they can easily measure; progress, less so. Game conditions certainly teach survival, but only experiment and repetition create skill.
Parents are often, sadly, the main push behind tournaments – costly drives or even flights away – as, increasingly, they twist their child’s minor hockey experience into their own life. Those who push back are often pushed away.
Sutter’s statements, some will find surprising, fall very much in line with Hockey Canada’s 2013 “long-term player development plan,” which is only now being distributed throughout the provinces and organizations.
That document, five years in the making, calls for a far greater emphasis on practice and using other sports – no year-round hockey – to develop a “physical literacy” for life.
“Evidence would suggest,” the document argues, “that the number of games played by youngsters in Canada slows the development of players.”
The message is clear: Cut way down on games, de-emphasize wins and losses, get off the tournament carousel, make far better use of ice space, work on skills and speed – and make it fun.
Hockey Canada even offers a quote from Hall-of-Famer Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
And Frans Nielsen (seen at right in his NY Islander's uniform) said there’s another reason why his hometown and country (Herning, Denmark) is producing NHL talent. There is almost no emphasis on team play or winning, but there is on developing individual skills. “Playing defense and blocking shots and things like that are a mentality you can learn when you get older,” Nielsen said. “Skating and shooting and stickhandling are the things you learn when you’re young.”--Hockey News Magazine
Many AAA and similar hockey programs throughout the country market their ability to identify elite hockey players, group these players together and train them using year-round, professionally designed programs. These early talent identification programs seem logical at first. Why not separate the good skaters from the bad to make practice more effective and games faster? There are, however, major flaws with the early talent identification model.
We have an incredibly poor ability to recognize athletes who will be elite in the future. Prior to puberty, it’s nearly impossible to judge a player’s future potential given the major physical changes that occur later in life. Even when players reach the high school level, the elite ranks continuously change with new players developing late and others losing their relative advantage. Instead of identifying the players with the most potential, we tend to select the oldest or most physically mature players in any given age bracket. This bias affects community associations and AAA programs alike.
Early talent identification programs almost always argue for players to train year-round and as much as possible using sport-specific training. These programs promote the idea that early specialization is necessary to stay elite. Contrary to developing athletes, however, these programs and the early specialization philosophy hurt athletic development. In fact, a study on German Olympians found participation in early talent identification programs to be negatively correlated with future success1.
If you’re a parent, be careful what you sign your little skater up for. The very program claiming to make him the next Sidney Crosby might do just the opposite. Recently Brent Sutter, former NHL player and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels WHL team, stated in the Edmonton Journal, “It is so noticeable on a hockey team that the kids who have played other sports and experienced different things are always the smarter players on your team, and they are able to handle adversity better” (March 3, 2013 – “Wanted for NHL, all hockey: True athletes”). Sutter goes on to explain how his team is scouting for players with multi-sport backgrounds – in other words, true athletes. Early talent identification programs create just the opposite type of athlete.
And more often than not, parents are being misled into thinking that their players are elite relative to their peers. Based upon the number of players participating in elite or AAA programs in Minnesota alone, what percentage of all Minnesota youth hockey players do you think are considered elite? The answer to this question should cast some doubt into the promises of early talent identification programs as well as their motives.
Josh Levine is a former Jefferson Jaguar, Princeton University graduate, founder of The Fortis Academy, and author of “Save Our Game: What’s wrong with hockey training today and how to fix it.” He can be reached at
For someone to have a future in this game as a goal scorer, the most important area for improvement is raising the bar of personal expectations. It is the kiss of death to spend an entire season in a designated role as a forward who contributes nothing more than hustle. That is why, when cuts are made, it is usually better for a goal scorer to play on the weaker team and score a ton of goals.
Confidence comes from success, and improvement follows. This is not to say it is bad to play “up” for a forward whose future is to be a grinding checker. But, for someone who wants to be a goal scorer, it is imperative to score by the bucketful – goals or assists – every season.
The same could be said for making brilliant plays, being creative on offense and handling the puck in traffic. Practicing these skills is one step, but the most important experience is to try things in games and succeed more often than not. That doesn’t happen much for the final players to make the ‘A-Team.’ They get less ice time, have the puck on their stick for fewer seconds in games, and are given a shorter leash by the coach to learn by trial and error. On the other hand, the top players on the ‘B-Team’ can experiment, be creative and fail sometimes. They’re still given a free reign to create.
The hardest skill to coach is confidence – poise in highly competitive situations. Reality is the most potent teacher, and success is required to elevate a player’s personal expectations.
Washington Capitals Hockey Team
All parents are asked to adhere to the 24-hour rule. Meaning, if you have a question, comment, concern or complaint for your coach, assistant coach, executive board member or president...you should wait twenty-four hours before approaching any individual. Discussions (and this includes phone, text and email) immediately following games or practices can sometimes be counterproductive. Any conversations should first be addressed to the coach/assistant coach before elevating issues to board members or association president. Our goal as an association is to improve your sons' or daughters' hockey skills in a safe and fun environment.