Energized from a hockey camp at the Montreal Canadiens training facility in Montreal last month, former Houston resident Nathan Grobins says he can’t wait to finalize plans to work with young Houston and area players next year.
“From what I learned [in Montreal, I can tell you my coaching is now at a NHL-calibre level,” said Grobins of his experience.
Grobins, who has an extensive professional hockey goal resume, and who now lives and coaches in south Florida, and took a group of young players to the Montreal camp for a week in July.
That week of working with young players and in turn learning and working with other coaches has Grobins working on a plan to take Houston players to the facility next year and to also host a camp in Houston.
“I can see having 20-25 kids at each camp,” said Grobins of his plans.
And to ensure that no player should be excluded because of affordability, Grobins wants to have at least two spots fully sponsored.
“That’s very important,” Grobins said of his sponsorship aspect.
Grobins said the Montreal camp built on his own goalie coaching philosophy of drill repetition to build muscle memory to react to actual game conditions.
“It was so much fun. We worked really hard, side by side with former NHL coaches. The drills were very high tempo,” he said.
One player, after a series of drills in which Grobins emphasized keeping your goalie stick on the ice, complimented him on his approach.
“We also did a lot of video work and from that, I learned what they do at the NHL level,” Grobins added.
Grobins took south Florida players to the camp through the Paris Way Learning Center Hockey Development Program run by John Paris Jr., an established hockey figure on the east coast.
His dates for the planned Montreal camp and for one in Houston have yet to be decided but both will more than likely be at the end of the 2019-2020 official hockey season.
Grobins hosted a hockey camp in Houston, one in Smithers and one in Hazelton some years back.
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.