Hockey is more than just a goal scoring competition played on ice.
It is a game that teaches players the value of hard work, discipline, commitment and team work.
The game, itself ,is a great teacher for instilling these values, but, of course, no player, in fact, no team would survive without the benefit of a coach.
Along the way, players will have the experience of being taught by many coaches and some will willingly walk the extra mile and take the extra time needed to help each player develop to their full potential both on and off the ice.
One such coach is Kent Beagle, this year’s recipient of Hockey Alberta’s Coach of the Year award.
Beagle, who received the award on April 28 during the bronze medal game for the Under 16 Alberta Cup at the Gary Harris Arena at Red Deer College has worn multiple hats each year – coaching a team, running clinics, and assisting other coaches with practice plans and drills. He has also served on the Rimbey Minor Hockey Board for more than eight years, as coach liaison, or in player development or manager assistance.
Kent and Kathleen Beagle have four children and each one of them play on a different hockey team.
Their dad tries to be there for them all.
“I was head coach this year of the Atom A team that my second son, Cameron plays on,” he said. “I also helped coach my oldest son, Tavish’s Peewee A team. I also, when I could, helped out with my third son Hudson’s Novice Team and my youngest, Josie’s Tinymites team.”
The Atom A Tier 3 Red Team that Beagle coached were the CAHL Tier 3 league champions.
In his nomination for coach of the year it was noted that it was “an absolute treat to watch the kids and watch how awesome of a coach Kent is, helping kids develop and showing them on the board if they made a mistake or even a positive he would show the kids to help them see it. His countless volunteer work has made our association an awesome one to be a part of and help wherever it is needed.”
Beagle gave credit to his team for the win, noting they worked hard.
“Our team was near the bottom of the standings going into playoffs and with all their hard work that they put in throughout the year we were able to beat everyone that we faced in the playoffs.”
For Beagle, hockey has been a passion ever since he was two-years-old.
“I played some very good hockey and had some amazing coaches, including my dad, who taught me a lot about the game and I feel I have a lot of knowledge of the game. I love teaching kids and watching them learn and develop throughout the year.”
Coaching is a big commitment, he said.
“I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. The biggest reward for me is watching these kids grow and develop in the game. I do it not only to help develop hockey players but to help develop these kids through hard work, discipline, commitment and team work that will help set them up in the future.
Team work with his wife, Kathleen is what makes it possible for him to commit so many hours to coaching a sport he loves, Beagle said.
“The hours and hours that she spends at the rink organizing our other kids and making sure they are at their games and practices while I’m coaching deserves an award, too,” he said.
Rimbey Minor Hockey Association is always looking for coaches, Beagle said. Anyone who wants to help out should check out the Rimbey Minor Hockey website and contact the coach liaison.
The coach of the year award is presented annually to a coach who has made an outstanding contribution to amateur hockey during the current season. The recipient will have obtained all necessary certifications, operated his/her team over and above the minimum guidelines and standards set out by Hockey Alberta, provided a fun and safe learning environment for the players, and made an outstanding contribution to the community through the team.