Are you ready to take your skills to the next level this season? Meet this year’s 2004 Can West coach, John Schneider.
Born and raised in Sturgeon County, Schneider described himself as being a hockey nut since a young age. “I can still remember the first time I put on skates,” he recalled. “I was so confident that I was just going to put them on, be able to skate and then start playing hockey.” He was devastated when he realized the fundamentals were much more challenging than he thought they’d be, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his passion.
Schneider began playing at age eight in Bon Accord, Alberta and joined a rep team in Gibbons when he reached Peewee. He continued at the Notre Dame High School Hockey Academy from grades 10 to 12 and completed his career as a junior player with the Gibbons Broncos and Calahoo Scorpions.
Coaching became Schneider’s primary focus at age 20 and he’s been actively involved in player development ever since. “I find a lot of joy in coaching competitive athletes that want to learn and progress to the next level,” shared Schneider. “I also get a real big kick out of kids improving and coming back to me years later saying, ‘Hey coach, I went off and did this…’”
Schneider is Development 1 certified by Hockey Alberta and has other minor certifications from the organization that contribute to his coaching success. He also keeps his skills sharp by teaching shooting and scoring at Pro North Hockey, and assisting with Morinville’s skills and drills program.
His coaching philosophy is to, first and foremost, develop players’ hockey skills the best he can. “I teach above their heads and gage how far above their heads I can go without losing them,” Schneider explained. “I find that kids are really smart and they want to learn, so I run more complicated drills and systems to help them improve.”
Schneider also aims to develop players into better human beings. “We talk a lot about ethics and morals that revolve around teams and how to be a good person,” he stated. “I think the hockey and human skills go together well.”
When asked about his coaching strengths, Schneider discussed his ability to understand dynamics between players and see the “big picture” regarding his teams. He’s also proficient at teaching skills such as shooting, passing, scoring and positional play.
Schneider is looking forward to another memorable season with an enthusiastic, dedicated team that’s ready to improve their performance and have fun. “It’s important to have passions in life and hockey is certainly a passion in young player’s lives,” shared Schneider. “I feel like I’m a big part of supporting those passions and I’m always happy to help.”
Meet Coach Schneider and take your shot at making his team during our tryouts on February 20, 2017.