Canadian Olympian leads hockey training

For most of the players, this week’s morning workouts at White Rock’s Centennial Arena was their first time back on the ice since spring.

Besides being an unofficial start to the 2012-’13 hockey season, the Semiahmoo Minor Hockey Association hockey camp also featured a high-profile coach, Ron Davidson.

Davidson, a Canadian Olympian and Team Canada member, is described by association president Ian Maguire as “one of the top hockey minds in Canada.”

Maguire and association director Pat La Roue met Davidson for the first time last year when he came out to B.C. with the Hyundai Hockey Nation cross-Canada tour of hockey clinics.

They saw Davidson in action coaching kids and proposed bringing him back for their own players.

“I thought it was a great idea,” Davidson said.

Tuesday afternoon, after putting 35 young Semiahmoo players through their paces, Davidson remarked on their unusual good manners.

“We always have kids who say thank you (after a training session), but not these numbers,” Davidson said.

“It’s a credit to the parents of the area and a credit to the hockey association.”

Davidson, developer of the UltraSkills training program, believes every player should get a chance to carry the puck in a practice, and he ensures that by matching players of equal abilities during practice sessions.

He says some kids will touch the puck more during one of his practices than they will during an entire hockey season.

Outside on the soccer field next to the arena, strength and conditioning coach Mike Pickles was running players through dry-land drills.

“This is the Spider-Man crawl,” he said at one point, demonstrating how to develop strength and flexibility by adopting the all-fours movements of the comic-book web-crawler.

Pickles was another high-profile “get” for the hockey association.

He is author of The Definitive Guide to Youth Athletic Strength, Conditioning and Performance and founder of the MyAthletic-Performance website.

Pickles is the private strength coach for golf pro Ryan Williams and head strength and conditioning coach for the White Rock Titans JB football team.

Many of the players participating in this week’s hockey camp will be back on the weekend for tryouts.

For information about the Labour Day weekend rep evaluations, visit


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