Spring, summer at Ice Center of Cupertino has something for everyone
Spring is coming – and quickly – to the Ice Center of Cupertino.
The sixth annual spring/summer hockey program kicks off April 16 with the start of the S3 Clinics. Other spring/summer events through Aug. 1 include high-intensity training, pre-tryout camp, Memorial Day Weekend tournament teams and the high school/Midget skate.
Based on customer feedback of what was wanted during the spring and summer months between the NorCal hockey seasons, the S3 Clinics were developed to focus on specific hockey skills in an immersive environment. This is taught in three one-hour long sessions, held on consecutive evenings from Monday through Wednesday during a week. The Ice Center offers 12 weeks of S3 Clinics from April 16-Aug. 1.
During the NorCal season, coaches are challenged to teach in this type of immersive environment because there simply isn’t enough time when the focus has to be on many team-related functions. But during the spring and summer, that can change. Over the past six years of S3 classes, the Ice Center has tweaked the program to be very productive.
California Cougars strength and conditioning coach Kevin Nathan: “I was all in from Day 1, but I didn’t expect the results to come so quickly.”
Like their position player counterparts, S3 also offers goalies a unique opportunity to get specific goalie training.
“I get an opportunity to talk with a goalie one on one as things are happening,” Cougars goalie coach Justin Hubert said. “That, combined with the weekly goalie-only ice sessions, allows the goalies to work with me much more closely than can happen during the regular season.”
Any S3 registered player may also decide to play on the popular Memorial Day Weekend tournament teams. All registrations for the tournament team are accepted. Players will be organized by skill level from S3 Clinics in addition to a few free team placement skates that help coaches place similarly skilled players together.
In addition to the 12 weeks of S3 Clinics, there is also a week of high-intensity training in mid-May and five sessions of pre-tryout camp in late May. Complete info on these, as well as all the programs mentioned above, can be found on www.californiacougars.org.
Unique to the Ice Center of Cupertino, there is a separate facility very nearby for off-ice training called Hockey X-Training (pictured). There is a mini-rink with synthetic ice used for power skate training and goalie work, weight and cardio training areas and a shooting lane, akin to a driving range on a golf course, where players can probably shoot more pucks in one session than they shoot on the ice during the entire hockey season.
The Cougars and their Tier hockey partner Golden State Elite (GSE) use a path of progress development method. Potential hockey players can start off in the Little Sharks program at the Ice Center of Cupertino and/or the Little Hockey Basic Training (LHBT) classes to get started on their ice hockey journey. After progressing through LHBT, there is the Cougar Rookie league, where players fresh from the LHBT class get their first taste of team play. The rookie league includes one practice and one game per week, playing against other Cougar Rookie League teams in a fun, teaching environment. There are also options to include more on-ice time at the discretion of the player’s family.
Following the rookie league, the Ice Center offers a full array of NorCal travel teams for every age level from six through 18. This is a more competitive environment and requires more dedication, practicing multiple times per week and playing both home and away games throughout Northern California. It’s not for everyone, but it’s open to anyone who wants to try out for a team. Tryouts start June 1.
From potential players brand new to the sport to current NorCal and GSE players, the Ice Center of Cupertino spring/summer programs have something for everyone.
Visit www.californiacougars.org for full details and registration information.
— Mike Benesh
(March 27, 2018)