Coaches play a vital role to the player experience. Vancouver Thunderbirds Hockey will be continually enhancing our coaching support network and identifying options for professional development. We recognize the countless hours our coaches dedicate to making the hockey experience even possible for players, and we want to make it a little easier to grow as a coach and help you have a great season coaching one of our teams. All coaches are overseen by Jeff Churchill (Coaching Ambassador) and Mike Todd (Director of Player & Coach Development - Recreational).

Who can coach?

Our coaches come from all over the Lower Mainland and for the most part fall into one of the following three categories:

  1. Parents: Most of our teams are coached by parents. The Association covers the expenses involved in becoming certified.
  2. Non-parent coaches: For some of our Rep programs, we contract coaches to oversee the development of these elite players. We have coaches who reside throughout the Lower Mainland and share their knowledge and experience with our Thunderbird players.
  3. Alumni: Thunderbird alumni who are interested in coaching will always have a home with the Association. We will work with them to identify the best team for them to work with and/or will provide opportunities for them to be on the ice with our skills providers.

Coaches are recruited for all levels from U6-U18 through to the Rep division.

getting certified

mandatory at all levels

All team staff will be required to complete the Respect in Sport (RIS), Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT) and Criminal Record Checks prior to stepping onto the ice.


No matter what level you are coaching, you will need a certification. BC Hockey, through Hockey Canada, follow the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) that outlines what is required. In addition to these requirements are a number of professional development opportunities for those coaches who wish to add supplemental knowledge to their arsenal. Find what certificates are required for your level here: BC Hockey. If you do not know which certifications you currently have, please contact Register.

Completion of ALL clinic components ( in class, online, and homework) are required to become certified. Failure to do so may require you to retake the course next season.

Coaches at the Development 1 and High Performance 1 levels are required to maintain their certificates in order to remain certified. For more information on certificate maintenance, please visit BC Hockey.

how do you sign up for courses?

Please contact Register for more information

How do I get Refunded for my Coaching Clinics?

To receive a refund, click here.

Course Descriptions

coach 1- intro to coach

The Coach 1 - Intro to Coach clinic is the perfect introduction to our game. This clinic, required for all new coaches in U6-U9, instructs delegates on how to teach basic hockey skills in a fun, safe and inclusive environment. The clinic has both an online and a face-to-face component.

Clinic Components

  • Hockey University (online)
  • Classroom and on-ice instruction

What will you learn?

  • Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) principles for athletes aged 5 - 8 years
  • Seasonal Planning
  • Practice Planning
  • Communication Skills
  • Leadership

Coach 2 - Coach Level

The Coach 2 - Coach Level course is geared toward those coaches who will be working with non-carded/house teams at the U11 level and above. This exciting program combines online learning with a face-to-face component for a comprehensive coach education. The primary focus of this course is instilling a player's confidence, self-esteem and a love for the game in a safe, fun and inclusive environment.

Clinic Components

  • Hockey University (online)
  • Classroom & on-ice instruction

What will you learn?

  • Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) principles for athletes of all ages
  • Seasonal Planning
  • Practice Planning
  • Leadership
  • Drill Progressions
  • Effective use of Team Staff
  • Communication Skills

Coaching - Development 1

The Development 1 clinic is a two (2) day clinic where coaches attend 13 hours of classroom time and three (3) hours of on-ice instruction/observation. The course will provide a foundation for coaches in the competitive stream.

Clinic Components:

  • Classroom & on-ice instruction
  • Written assignment (due within two weeks of the conclusion of your clinic or by December 15th of the clinic year, whichever occurs first)
  • Field evaluation (coordinated by BC Hockey and completed by a BC Hockey designated evaluator)
  • Making Ethical Decisions (online evaluation) - facilitated by the Coaching Association of Canada.

What will you learn:

  • Drill Progressions
  • Skills Analysis
  • Seasonal Planning
  • Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) principles for athletes of all ages
  • Linking individual skills to tactics
  • Team building and team tactics
  • Player development and skill evaluation

Instructional Streams - Checking

All Head Coaches at the U11, U13, and U15 levels are required to complete the Instructional Streams - Checking clinic. It is recommended that all coaches complete this, but it is only required for the Head Coach.

Find information on how to sign up for specialty clinics at BC Hockey.

Click here for more information on teaching checking in hockey.

Key Contacts

Jeff Churchill (Coach Ambassador) - coachingamb@vancouvertbirds.ca

Mike Todd (Director of Player & Coach Development - Recreational) - mtodd@vancouvertbirds.ca

Audrey White (Operations Manager) - awhite@vancouvertbirds.ca

New to TBirds Coach Application

If you are interested in coaching with Vancouver Thunderbirds Hockey, this section will provide you the new to TBirds coach application.

Coaching Equipment

To be an effective coach, you have to be prepared. Along with planning, being prepared means having the right equipment.

Skills Providers

We are dedicated to providing opportunities for our players to maximize their development and to provide professional development for our coaches.