Navy Youth Hockey is excited to announce our new online and virtual training program. The program, called LockeRoom, incorporates Zoom-based virtual practices as well as comprehensive, age-specific workout plans. LockeRoom was designed and produced by Ashley Harper and Kelsey Corrigan – our awesome Girls Hockey Director and her partner who is an experienced Kinesiologist and educator. LockeRoom will allow us to bring hockey and other skill-development training to all of our players and coaches immediately and throughout the coming year.
While we are hopeful to have the chance to return to the ice in some form over the next several months, we know it is critically important to the physical, and emotional, well-being of our hockey players that they continue to train and connect with each other and their coaches. The new program will engage them to that end.
Equally exciting is that we were able to secure grant funding to support the programming and coaching staff to deliver this model to all of our players – at no charge to you. The program will roll out this week with a NYH-ALL introductory lesson at 6 pm on Thursday, and a chance for everyone to get a ‘taste’ of the product and how it will be delivered. Details on how to access Thursday’s introductory lesson and LockeRoom resources are included below. Consistent with USA Hockey’s Long -Term Development program, in the coming weeks we will launch training and skill modules for all age groups and skill levels.
In addition, this grant also created an opportunity for us to put together an all-star lineup of coaches to deliver the training to our players. The team will include our own Ashley Harper and Paul Fritz – all of you know them and their remarkable ability to lead young athletes to the next level.
We will also feature our friend and former HD Joe Vonakis. Coach Joe is returning to Annapolis and has agreed to take on a lead coaching role with NYH immediately and through this fall and winter. One of the most deliberate and well-spoken instructors in the history of NYH, we are blessed to have Joe returning to NYH this year. Also committing to coach is Russell Smith, founder of Dedicated Hockey and renowned coach for multiple Tier I and II divisional and championship teams in the region. If you know regional hockey, you know Russell and his skill set – we are fortunate to have him joining us to help develop our youngsters this year!
Finally, another NYH first, we have anchored a full-time Skills Development Coordinator for the club! Zach Arden joins us in the new role and, with the support of the amazing team above, will lead the development of on and off-ice training for our youngsters. Zach will be afforded the time and opportunity to focus on skills training for all levels of the club but we expect a fine-focus on our youngsters who are still learning the fundamentals of skating, puck-handling and the game itself. Because he will be taking on this new and prominent role, we thought it important to tell you a little more about him before you see him on your Zoom screen later this week.
Zach grew up in Potomac, MD and played his youth hockey locally for Team Maryland and the Little Caps. Zach attended Churchill high school where he was a two-time Washington Post All-Met first team player. Following Churchill, he played junior hockey for the Rochester Jr. Americans in the USPHL, NCAA Division III at Skidmore College, and ACHA Division 2 at the University of Maryland where he graduated with a B.A. in Government and Politics. Zach served as the Captain of his Terps team his Senior season earning the prestigious Mike Mutryn Award and All-ACHA and All-Conference honors.
Zach began his coaching career running skills clinics for local youth hockey players as a lead instructor for the local “Nothing But Net” camps and the Tier-I oriented DC Selects Spring teams. Zach has also served as a team leader at the USA Hockey Southeast District Select Festival. He was most recently an assistant coach at Team Maryland during the 2018-19 season, helping guide the Peewee Majors to a second place AYHL finish and top 10 national ranking.
Zach has become a premier private skills instructor and has run skills clinics for numerous clubs in the area including Team Maryland, Tri-City, Montgomery, and Chevy Chase. During the 2019-20 season Zach worked in the Washington Capitals Youth Hockey Development department leading their learn-to-play and hockey-in-school programs. Zach is slated to graduate from George Washington University with a Master of Science in Sport Management in the coming year. Zach currently is in the process of moving to the Annapolis area with his girlfriend and is very excited to join the Navy Youth hockey community!