Coaches Corner

About our Coaches

With over 150 years of hockey experience in all facets of the game combined, we believe the volunteer coaching staff for the Northwest Florida Hockey League (NFHL) is the best on the Gulf Coast. Our coaching staff prides itself on ensuring that all players of all skill levels can advance and hone their skills when playing with the NFHL.

To ensure we keep our coaching staff at the highest possible level, we conduct several interviews for applicants, perform background checks, provide mentoring programs, and require all coaches to maintain appropriate USA Hockey coaching certifications (Steps to becoming a coach). Our coaching staff has both playing experience (from youth, college, and professional) and coaching experience (from mini-mites to Tier I USA Hockey). [May want to verify that everything in this last paragraph is up to date and true.]

Want to be a NFHL Coach?

USA Hockey and the Coaching Education Program require both certification and registration to be eligible to coach. Registration is done online on a yearly basis. Certification is also required. A few basic steps requirements are as follows:

USA Hockey Requirements (Must be completed before participating in any team activities)

  1. Register as a member of USA Hockey
  2. Complete the background screening.
  3. Complete the USA Hockey Safe Sport Training
  4. Complete the online Age Specific Module for the age level of play you are wanting to coach.
  5. Find, register, and attend the required certification clinic.

Coaching Education Program

  • Rules and Requirements: Outlines the standards all USA Hockey-certified coaches must meet.
  • Coaching Clinics: Requires a login (this login is NOT related to your USA Hockey member registration or modules)
  • Age-Specific Modules: Links to the online program for this CEP requirement
  • Online Certification List: Search for a coach’s certification and completion of an online age-specific module, and print a CEP card
  • Student Coaches: Information on the student coach rules
  • Coaching Ethics: Learn more about the Coaching Ethics Code  

Coach Selection

NFHL’s coaches are all unpaid volunteers. 

Qualifications include:

  • Coaching certification (Level I, II, III, IV, or V)
  • Hockey knowledge and skills coaching experience
  • Ability to work effectively with children and other NFHL volunteers with maturity and responsibility
  • Ability to put in the time and effort required throughout the season
  • Ability to create a positive experience for the team
  • Passed criminal background check

The Coach-in-Chief will interview candidates and select the most qualified coaches from the applicant group. Selection is at the discretion of the Coach-in-Chief, and individuals interested in coaching should contact the Coach-in-Chief. Coaches are required to sign a Coaches Code of Conduct, setting forth coaching performance standards. Before interacting with the kids, a background check & Safesport certification will be necessary.

Coaching Clinics

Each season, coaches need to make sure to retain their required coaching certification levels. Once a year, we host a Level 1, Level 2 & Level 3 coaching class locally. Clinics can be found around the country. You can do a search for clinics here.

Coach's Code of Conduct

  • Winning is a consideration, not the only one, nor the most important one. Care more about the child than winning the game. Remember, players are involved in hockey for fun and enjoyment.
  • Be a positive role model to your players. Display emotional maturity and be alert to the physical safety of players.
  • Be generous with your praise when deserved; be consistent and honest; be fair and just; do not criticize players publicly; learn to be a more effective communicator and coach; don’t yell at players.
  • Adjust to players' personal needs and problems; be a good listener; never verbally or physically abuse a player or official; give all players the opportunity to improve their skills, gain confidence and develop self-esteem; teach players the basics.
  • Organize practices that are fun and challenging for your players. Familiarize yourself with the rules, techniques, and strategies of hockey; encourage all your players to be team players.
  • Maintain an open line of communication with your players’ parents. Explain the goals and objectives of your association.
  • Be concerned with the overall development of your players. Stress good health habits and clean living.
  • To play the game is great; to love the game is greater.

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