Rapid Athlete Development the best option for elite-level hockey players
Admittedly, Brett Beebe says there are many hockey camps for parents and players to choose from, but he always noticed that there were some major details missing when it came to camps for high-end players.
So the Redondo Beach native decided to take the bull by the horns and create his own entity – Rapid Athlete Development (RAD).
“We created RAD because while there are many great camps out there, we didn’t find anything catered specifically to elite-level hockey players,” said Beebe, the owner of RAD. “We believe athletes develop the most effectively when put in an environment that will challenge and push them. Our coaching staff is all current or former professional players, AAA-level coaches, and many junior and NCAA coaches as well. Our dryland trainings are typically run by certified strength and conditioning coaches. Ultimately, our events mimic professional-level training camps.
“We just offer so much more than a couple hours of ice time. We provide a ton of education on how to have hockey take you as far as possible with high-level off-ice training, age-specific development models, film review, and mentorship from players who have been to hockey’s highest levels.”
Beebe said RAD started back in 2013 with 18 skaters. In 2019 and 2020, there were about 500 participants per year. This year, the staff is anticipating working with over 700 players. RAD tournament teams also won championships the past few years at numerous elite-level spring and summer events.
Along with Beebe, the main instructional staff includes Gudger Gentzler and Matt Gilroy.
Beebe played AAA in California and represented Team USA at the Under-17 Four Nations Tournament, in addition to playing in the USHL, NCAA Division I at Western Michigan University and then professionally in the ECHL and in Germany.
Gentzler also played AAA in California, then in the BCHL and NAHL before a four-year career at NCAA D-I Colgate University and a couple years in the minors. He is currently the assistant coach at NCAA Division III Tufts University in Boston.
The 2009 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner as the top player in NCAA D-I hockey, Gilroy also won a national championship that year with Boston University. He enjoyed a five-year NHL career and a five-year career in Russia and Switzerland.
“Through our networks, we have been able to bring dozens of NHL players out for our camps as well as junior-, college-, and NHL-level coaches,” Beebe said.
Beebe explained how players of all ages benefit from RAD.
“RAD camps challenge players and push them to levels they may not have experienced yet,” said Beebe. “From our Squirts up to our AAA and junior/college players, we create a super competitive environment that challenges anyone that attends.
“RAD tournament teams bring together players from around the U.S. to compete in some of the premier spring and summer tournaments in North America. Players are able to play with new teammates, create new relationships, play for extremely high-level coaches, and create a lasting relationship with our RAD program.”
And during COVID times, Beebe said the camps and tournament events this spring and summer will go on as planned, with several precautionary measures in place.
“We take COVID extremely seriously and will have numerous rules on top of the guidelines provided to us in each rink we attend,” Beebe said. “Coaches will wear masks at all time and time in the locker room will be limited for every group.”
— Matt Mackinder
(Feb. 12, 2021)