Nathan Grobins may now be living in south Florida but the former professional hockey goalie has not forgotten his Houston roots.
He’s now in the beginning stages of sketching out a plan to host a hockey development camp in Houston.
Speaking last week, Grobins said he’d combine his own coaching business, CanadianMade Hockey, with that of another development program, The Paris Way Learning Center, for a five-day camp.
Grobins hosted a hockey camp in Houston, one in Smithers and one in Hazelton some years back and looks forward to doing it again in his hometown.
Now 47, Grobins had a 13-year professional goalie career in several eastern United States leagues, eventually settling down in south Florida where he now coaches through his CanadianMade Hockey business.
And this week Grobins is in the Montreal, Quebec suburb of Brossard where he’s part of a coaching staff instructing at a five-day The Paris Way Learning Center development camp for young players.
“It’s at the Montreal Canadiens facility and that’s a great opportunity for young players,” said Grobins of the location.
The Paris Way Learning Center take its name from John Paris Jr., a well-established and well-known hockey name in the east.
Grobins said Paris had been following his social media posts for several years and, realizing they had a lot in common, contacted him to take part in this week’s Quebec camp.
“We really have the same approach [to coaching],” Grobins said of Paris.
And that’s to emphasize individual skill development during development camps.
“It’s more than skating around pylons that you’d see at other camps,” said Grobins.
He emphasizes positional play with specific movements or actions involving repetition drills designed so that young players develop “muscle memory”.
That’s so that during a game situation, they automatically respond or act.
“In goal it’s react, not act,” Grobins said of how important muscle memory is to a player.
He also credits time spent with Russian goalie great Vladislav Tretiak with honing his coaching philosophy.
Just as important as on ice training, off-ice individual drills are also crucial to develop correct positional play attributes.
Those drills work on specific muscles a player needs to employ depending upon their position.
“You don’t see that in a lot of camps,” said Grobins.
He has several of his own young players at the Quebec camp this week and had hoped, through available sponsorships, to invite players from Houston but said an accelerated time line didn’t make that possible.