True love of the game

By JAMES

ANDERSEN

News Sports Editor

Lori Seguin has a lot keeping her busy these days, especially when it comes to hockey.

Between putting on a weekly goalie clinic, writing columns for a hockey Web site, coaching and taking part in coaching clinics, Seguin has a lot on her plate.

But with all of her pursuits, Seguin doesn’t mind the busy schedule and she continues to be a voracious student of the game.

“Hockey, I’ve been a fan since I was a kid. We played street hockey growing up in New York and I loved the game. I always followed the game, read everything I could, watched everything I could about hockey. It’s my favorite sport,” Seguin said. “The next best thing (from playing). I like teaching anyway and coaching is just teaching, just teaching something you’re passionate about and I love the game so it was perfect for me.”

Seguin has only been coaching for six and a half years, but coaching has taken her a long way in that time.

In February, Seguin attended an internship with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor. The NTDP selects two coaches from around the nation for the internship each season and Seguin found out in January she was selected.

“It’s a recommendation kind of thing. I’m the instructor for the coaching education program for the Michigan District and the coaching chief asked last summer if anyone was interested and I said I was,” Seguin said. “It was great experience, I learned a lot.”

During the two-day internship, Seguin sat with the coaching staff during team meetings, was involved with practice planning, worked with the NTDP’s U17 and U18 teams, took part in video coaching sessions and had a one-on-one session with NTDP goalie coach Kevin Reiter.

Seguin notes that among her bucket list items as a coach would be to coach at the college level or coach with the US national team.

Last August she received her USA Hockey Level 5 Master Coaching Certification, the highest such certification USA offers. She is one of three female coaches with the certification in USA Hockey’s Michigan District and is part of the organization coaching education program.

To earn the certification, coaches must attend clinics and compete online modules at whatever level they’re coaching. As a coach moves up in certifications, the clinics may last two or three days. At Level 5, a coach must attend the National Hockey Coaches Symposium and eventually write a thesis.

Seguin attended the 2012 symposium in Washington D.C. and got her certification in December after writing a thesis about the impact a coach has on maximizing player potential.

Coaching has afforded Seguin the chance to have some unique experiences, but it’s kept her very busy too. She’s coached several teams in Alpena at various levels including the Thunder Bay women’s team, PeeWee and bantam teams and she also spent time as an assistant coach with the Alpena Street Cats.

She also recently joined the writing staff of Ultimatehockeysource.com and published her first article, “Male and Female Coaches: Is establishing credibility different?” on March 27.

“They came to me. I got an email from this guy in Canada who said, ‘Hey would you like to join our staff?’ I’ve never done it before, it’s something different, different opportunity and we’ll see what happens,” Seguin said.

Hockey is a year-round passion for Seguin and that includes the summer. In July, Seguin will offer a three-day goalie camp at Northern Lights Arena in conjunction with Detroit Red Wings goalie coach Jim Bedard. Seguin is the founder of Post-2-Post Hockey and the camp will be held for youth goalies of all ages throughout North America. Seguin’s camp proceeds go toward funding her weekly training sessions during the season.

Goaltending has become Seguin’s area of expertise and she holds weekly clinics for youth goalies and served in the same capacity with the Street Cats. Initially though, Seguin admits she didn’t know much about goaltenders.

“I just enjoyed coaching the game and I had no idea what goalies did except stop pucks. Coaching kids and even with the adult leagues, they’d always look to me and say, ‘Coach what am I doing wrong,'” Seguin said. “I started asking more questions, started studying goaltending, so I could at least help some of the kids here at least learn the fundamentals. Things kind of snowballed from there.”

Seguin enjoys the career she’s made coaching youth hockey, noting there’s more of an emphasis on learning the fundamentals and its allowed her the chance to form a lot of lasting relationships.

“Coaching youth hockey is a thankless effort, but it’s self rewarding. Your relationships that you make with players and parents (is good) and you can make a career out of it,” Seguin said. “But you’ve got to have that will and determination.”

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.