Unique academy-style model will focus on development and advancement.
Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce that it will provide hockey operations support for the launch of Orchard Lake Academy, a prep hockey program that will field teams at the 16U and 18U levels, and will be housed on the Orchard Lake Academy campus in Orchard Lake, MI, starting in the 2020-2021 school year. TPH will operate and support all elements of the OLA hockey operation, including the hiring of staff, building of critical infrastructure and implementation of the TPH Hockey Development Model.
“TPH is thrilled to support the launch of the Orchard Lake Academy,” TPH Director of Player Development and Managing Partner Brandon Naurato said. “Orchard Lake Academy will provide a unique academic and athletic opportunity for driven, goal-oriented hockey players who have a desire to learn about the process of becoming elite student-athletes, while receiving a first-class education, world-class hockey instruction and hands-on mentorship. We believe academy-style programs like the one being launched at OLA are the future of team training in North America. We are looking forward to implementing many elements of our Center of Excellence model on the Orchard Lake Academy campus, where student-athletes will have everything they need to grow.”
Helping to build the foundation of this Prep program, OLA has named Ryan Barnes to the position of Director of Hockey-Operations. Barnes brings an extensive hockey resume to OLA, including eleven years of coaching experience, seven seasons of professional playing experience as well as involvement on the player representation side of the sport, with Quartexx Management, an agency that represents some of the most household names in hockey such as Mitch Marner, Taylor Hall and Detroit Red Wings 1st round draft pick Filip Zadina. Barnes will oversee all elements of the hockey-operation at OLA.
“Ryan Barnes knows what the best hockey players in the world need to be successful both on and off the ice,” Naurato said. “His unique perspective as a former player, current coach and family adviser will give the OLA program credibility and set our student-athletes up for success in all areas right from the start. Ryan is a key piece for us in supporting OLA and we couldn’t be happier to have him in this role.”
Barnes echoed Naurato’s sentiments when expressing his enthusiasm about OLA.
“Orchard Lake Academy is a terrific concept, one that will strengthen the development of hockey players, especially for 16, 17 and 18 year-olds who may be ready for junior, but one more year may help them avoid being in and out of the line-up, assist them in moving up a level or just gain more confidence in preparation for the demands of the junior level,” Barnes said. “I am excited about being involved and having the opportunity to help TPH support OLA. The model is very pure and is designed to bring out the best in teenage hockey players in more ways than just on the ice.”
The structure of Orchard Lake Academy will be like that of a traditional prep hockey program. Structure, discipline and supervision will be hallmarks of the OLA program.
OLA differs from traditional prep hockey programs in a few ways, most specifically, the format of the academic experience. Program attendees will study in a “best of both worlds” academic environment that incorporates a hybrid classroom/online learning experience. Student-athletes will take traditional courses as well as three online courses through TPH’s official learning partner, Edmentum. OLA attendees will have access to the same rigorous, robust, NCAA-accredited courseware used in TPH’s Center of Excellence model. This hybrid approach will allow program attendees to achieve positive academic outcomes, while balancing the demands of a 50-55 game independent prep schedule.
“We believe the blended learning environment we create within our Center of Excellence allows student-athletes to pursue and maximize both their academic and athletic goals,” Naurato said. “OLA is a model that incorporates both on-site and online learning and provides an unmatched learning platform for student-athletes who are looking for a unique experience on the ice, off the ice in the weight room and more importantly, in the classroom.”
The on and off-ice experience Naurato mentions is linked to TPH’s Hockey Development Model, which will be implemented at OLA. On most days, OLA attendees will train on the ice twice per day- in the morning for 45 minutes, in an individual and small group training session that incorporates foundational and blended skills as well as habits, concepts and details that often do not get covered due to time constraints and limited ice time. In the afternoon, OLA teams will reconvene for a 50 minute practice geared towards team concepts, structure and systems, as well as a 45 minute off-ice training session designed to enhance the strength, speed, athleticism and endurance of all individuals, consistent with TPH’s vision for developing a true Hockey Athlete.
“The TPH Hockey Development Model is built on 7 pillars, starting with the character traits of the individual and then building right up to the structure that makes a successful team,” Naurato added. “We will apply our hockey model in a manner that is consistent with ADM standards for 16U and 18U High Performance Hockey Clubs. This will be done in an effort to maximize each individual’s athletic development.”
While quality vs. quantity encompasses TPH’s entire approach with OLA, this distinction is very relevant to the building of both the 16U and 18U game schedules. The 50-55 game schedule will maximize practice, training and study time opportunities that will
ensure no shortcuts are taken in the development process.
OLA Director of Hockey-Operations Ryan Barnes believes that while no one hockey-operations-related task is more important than the other, the building of a quality game schedule will be a top priority.
“We will seek to attend competitive, high-exposure events like the USHL Youth Fall Classic, NAHL Blaine Showcase, and various New England Prep tournaments,” Barnes said. “In addition, OLA will strive to schedule weekend series with established Prep programs like Shattuck St. Mary’s, Culver Academy, Northwood Prep, St. Andrews College, Hill Academy and Upper Canada College, to name a few. While the schedule is very much a sketch at this stage, our hope is to turn our vision into a reality and create a game schedule that is built around school and the lifestyle of an aspiring elite athlete, not the other way around.”
Building off Barnes’ point, whether referencing the game schedule, academic or hockey training blueprint, Brandon Naurato says that all the decisions being made with regards to the building of the OLA experience serves two purposes.
“For us in TPH, OLA is about teaching driven, dedicated 16U and 18U players how to become better hockey players, student-athletes and people, while providing every single individual an opportunity to achieve his or her academic, athletic and life goals. Individual development, individual advancement and team success all go hand-in-hand. Orchard Lake Academy provides Total Package Hockey an opportunity to give aspiring elite teenage hockey players a platform to fulfill their potential, while we live out our company vision, which is to positively impact the lives of student-athletes through the game of hockey.”
Nashville, Tenn. – Total Package Hockey (TPH) announced this morning it has cancelled the Jr Predators/Tri-State Spartans AAA Invitational set to take place in Nashville this weekend, March 13-15. In addition, TPH has taken precautions with the TPH Center of Excellence as well, requiring all student athletes to work from home.
The health and well-being of our student-athletes and their families has always been a top priority and with the current coronavirus (COVID-19) circumstances, the decision to take these precautions has been made.
All seven of our operating Center of Excellence locations have suspended access to campus interaction. Considering the unfortunate situation, we are glad that our student-athletes will not fall behind academically. Although student-athletes are not permitted on our campuses, they will easily be able to maintain their course work through our online academic program.
As the coronavirus situation evolves, TPH will put safety and well-being first and follow the advice of medical professionals and USA Hockey.
Dear TPH Student-Athletes, Coaches, Volunteers and Parents,
What a past week it has been for all of us! You are receiving this message because of hockey… because hockey has connected us with you in some way at some time. But this message really has nothing to do with hockey. It has to do with being a team and taking care of one another– our family, friends and the people in our community, to beat this virus, and win over the challenges it is laying out in front of us.
The formal message is below. Please read it and please use it as a resource if you need it. But today, we want to talk directly to you.
We have cancelled tournaments, training and all TPH events over the past week, and will do so for at least the next 30 days. All of this has been done to be proactive and to take precautions. Our heart goes out to all of you who will miss out on a chance to compete for a national championship, play your last game as a senior or compete in that end of the year tournament you were so looking forward to competing in. This is extremely tough to accept, but with each door closed, a new one opens up to us, so take this time to think thru the next door, to look for that next opportunity, and when it opens up, maximize it and take advantage of it to the fullest. You never know when that door may close. As coaches, we always preach to play the game like its your last, train in the spring like its your last season and see opportunity and a chance to grow in all you do!
My good friend Brandon Walker who works for the Nashville Predators, recently posted this on his Facebook page:
“One thing to remember today – we are in charge of our kindness and attitudes. We are gearing up for some weird and tough times. No idea how long – days, weeks, months. Either way things will happen that we have never experienced before.
To you it may just be an overreaction. It may just be “the flu”. To someone else it may be much more. They may have a love one effected. They may have financial implications with their employment. They may not have the resources to be in their homes for several days or longer.
We never know what each other are going though and that needs to be respected. Think before you speak. Think before you post, none of us are experts.
Our compassion, staying positive together and showing kindness to others will help make today better. We got this.”
Walks, you could not have said it any better, and thank you for sharing this with the world. You are so right. We absolutely got this, together! One team! We got this!
Chief Executive Officer
TPH is committed to the safety and well-being of all our student-athletes, their families and our staff. In the past 24 hours we have made decisions to physically close our Centers of Excellence (CoE), temporarily, and have cancelled the Jr Predators/Tri-State Spartans AAA Tournament scheduled for the weekend of March 13 – 15, 2020. This is an unprecedented time and situation. We felt that this was the best method to safe-guard our student-athletes and those who participate in, anddeliver our programming.
The TPH vision is to become the world leader in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through the game of hockey. Because of the virtual and on-demand nature of our business, specifically our Center of Excellence model, there is no reason why we will not be able to execute our vision moving forward, despite not having ice to execute it on. In short, it’s business as usual for TPH, with a few necessary tweaks, alterations and additions on the way starting Monday.
In reaching the decision to cancel tournaments, training and all TPH events for 30 days, we relied on information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization and other health officials. It was apparent that one of the most effective means of reducing or slowing the spread of the virus was to take mitigation steps that keep people further apart. The decision was not made because we had received notification that an infected person was in direct contact with anyone associated with any of our CoE’s or other programs or teams. If we learn that someone in our program has had contact with an infected person, we will notify those who could be impacted. We are in close contact with the facilities we operate in and gain information and guidance from them as to how they are responding to the situation. Prior to making the decision to temporarily shut down the CoE’s, we had instituted a protocol in each of them that had a number of components. Those included education of the students on the nature of the virus, symptoms to be aware of and to stay home if they exhibited any, heighten emphasis and awareness of the importance of frequent hand washing and other hygiene habits, increased sanitation of surfaces in our classrooms and other facilities, having a plan for continuing to support and monitor academic performance in the event of a temporary closure, and increased communication. The source of this guidance and recommendations was the CDC.
We will continue to monitor the recommendations of the CDC as well as that of local health officials in the various communities in which we operate and keep you updated of relevant operational decisions as they occur. Because the safety and wellbeing of all who participate in our various programs isour top priority, we have been recommending the following precautionary guidelines from the CDC to help keep peoplehealthy and prevent the spread of the virus:
If you have symptoms or if you or your child are feeling ill, it is recommended you contact your doctor. You may need to be tested and told to stay home for up to 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus, even though you may not show immediate symptoms. Additionally, if you have traveled to affected areas, please be sure to follow the CDC guidelines and recommended quarantine protocols.
We encourage everyone to stay up to date about this information – See the resources below for the latest developments from the CDC.
Because this is a fast-moving and ever-changing situation, we want to assure you that we will be diligent in monitoring updates and following official recommendations from the public health authorities. Please stay tuned for further information from our team on this matter as the situation warrants.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce the launch of its tenth Center of Excellence at the Bridgewater Sports Arena in Bridgewater Township, NJ. TPH will partner with the Rockets Sports Group, LLC. and team up with former New Jersey Devils captain, Bryce Salvador, to launch its first Center of Excellence on the East Coast.
“We are thrilled about this announcement on a number of levels,” TPH CEO Nathan Bowen said.“First off, we are grateful to the Rockets Sports Group for teaming up with us to bring our Study, Train, Play model to a state that is rich in hockey history and booming with hungry hockey players who we believe will benefit from the CoE model. On top of that, we are extremely grateful to our good friend Bryce Salvador for connecting TPH and the Rockets Sports Group. From the start, we knew we wanted to be associated with Bryce and his personal brand. Bryce’s passion for development radiates off him. I have really enjoyed building a relationship with him. All of us in TPH are excited to join forces with Bryce and the Rockets Sports Group, to create a successful model not just in New Jersey, but hopefully in time, across the entire East Coast.”
In the Rockets Sports Group, TPH is aligned with partners who share a common vision. Built on the principles of teamwork, sportsmanship, education, and respect, the Rockets Sports Group owns and operates the Rockets Hockey Club; which consists of over 25 Tier I boys, Tier II boys and Girls hockey programs, along with 3 junior teams that compete in the NCDC. In addition, the Rockets Sports Group owns and operates the Rock Ice Center and the Bridgewater Sports Arena, the later which will house the New Jersey Center of Excellence.
“The Rockets Sports Group is very excited to offer the Center of Excellence a high-level hockey, academic and life-learning model for 6th through 12th graders both inside and outside the Rockets organization,” Gibson said. “Not only are we committed to providing the very best opportunities for our Rockets families to develop on and off the ice, but we are also excited about the doors the CoE model will open for student-athletes across the Garden State. The academy will be based at the Bridgewater Sports Arena and our doors will be open to all student athletes, regardless of what club they play for, who are the right fit for TPH’s Study, Train, Play model.”
In Bryce Salvador, TPH will collaborate with an individual whose resume includes being an NHL Captain with close to 800 NHL games played. What’s more impressive than Salvador’s playing resume is his commitment to bettering the sport of hockey. Whether it be through broadcasting as an analyst for MSG Network, a hockey mentor, an owner of xHockeyproducts, a youth coach with the Rockets Hockey Club, or the initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion across all levels of hockey, Salvador will be invested in the day-to-day operation of the TPH-New Jersey Center of Excellence. The 43-year-old says being “all-in” is the only way he knows and is excited for the opportunity to utilize all of his hockey endeavors to influence, develop, and grow the sport of hockey throughout New Jersey.
“My motivation for building a relationship with Nathan Bowen and Total Package Hockey, and eventually connecting TPH with the Rockets Sports Group, is to bring an unprecedented development opportunity to hockey players in New Jersey,” Salvador said. “TPH’s commitment to quality hockey training, an individualized, customized classroom experience designed to meet the demands of high-level hockey players and their emphasis on preparing student-athletes for real-world experiences will be well-received not just in New Jersey, but in time, on the entire East Coast. I am looking forward to being involved on the ground in all aspects of the CoE and doing anything in my power to make sure student-athletes who attend the academy grow and improve on and off the ice.”
The individualized, customized classroom experience Salvador mentioned refers to the Study component of TPH’s Study, Train, Play CoE model. Student-athletes study academically in a best-of-both-worlds environment that incorporates an NCAA-accredited online learning experience, powered by TPH’s academic partner Edmentum, with on-site infrastructure and classroom support. This “blended learning environment” allows student-athletes to study on demand, 24/7, and interact virtually with teachers and tutors who are focused on the student-athletes across all nine CoE’s. This is done while the individual enjoys a completely customized academic experience, led by an on-site Director of Academics, who will be with the student-athletes every day to insure growth and progress and make certain that each and every individual is studying when, where, and how he or she learns best.
“TPH goes above and beyond in their academic model,” Salvador added. This is something I was immediately drawn to when I first spoke with Nathan, and this is something I know families in New Jersey will appreciate. The CoE is not a virtual school. The CoE tuition doesn’t come with a separate fee for academics. The experience is all-inclusive and creates a hybrid online, on-site experience. The students learn to interact with technology and communicate with their teachers virtually. But, the Director of Academics- that person is like a coach, creating the environment that holds students accountable and pushes them to be successful. TPH doesn’t farm out the academic experience. They take no shortcuts. Their approach is holistic and geared towards anything and everything related to the growth and development of the student-athlete.”
The development of the student-athlete includes emphasis on growth in four areas:as a hockey player, athlete, student, and person. When it comes to on and off-ice training, CoE attendees train according to a blueprint that emphasizes individual and small group skills, habits, concepts, and details that often get neglected at the club level. With practice time and practice ice at a premium, the CoE hockey training model breaks the game down into its smallest parts, starting with foundational skills techniques, before progressing to application in game-like situations that maximize the use of hockey sense. All of this is done while the individual improves his or her relative strength, speed, athleticism, and endurance off the ice.
With New Jersey hockey families often on the “go,” Bryce Salvador believes the CoE on and off-ice training model will allow hockey players to “dig-in to the parts of the game that really matter.”
Simply playing a role in a student-athlete’s development is what CEO Nathan Bowen says has been and always will be TPH’s motivation in expanding its Center of Excellence model. But “talk is cheap”Bowen states, quickly pointing to the 39 CoE alumni who have committed to or are currently playing NCAA Division I and Division III hockey, the 70+ alums who have been drafted in or have tendered with NAHL and USHL clubs, as well as the 6 CoE alums who have been drafted to the NHL. Bowen hopes that in time, hockey players from the Garden State will add to this list.
TPH invites all interested New Jersey Center of Excellence candidates to visit the links below to learn more about the CoE model. In addition, interested families are invited to attend an upcoming TPH-New Jersey on-site open house on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at the Bridgewater Sports Center. Two time slots are available to register: 7:00 – 8:00 PM and 9:00 – 10:00 PM. You can register at the link below.