The TPH Center of Excellence (CoE) in Phoenix is still very young, but it’s already making a lasting impression on student-athletes, their families and its own staff. The center has brought a balance of academics and athletics with a blended learning experience in the classroom with on and off-ice training, plus a mentorship program to prepare student-athlete for the future.

Education and Athletics During a Pandemic

Even with the pandemic, TPH Phoenix has found commitment from everyone involved to make sure its students are receiving the tools they need to succeed.

“The commitment all the way around from the student-athletes and staff are striving to be their best every day,” said Brett Blatchford, Director of Hockey-Operation. “It’s been nice to see the commitment level that they all have. The kids may not be elite today, but they all have a desire to get there. Our staff wants these kids to succeed. The lengths they’re willing to go to ensure their success, the student-athletes have so many resources available that there’s no way they won’t grow into better hockey players and people.”

While the pandemic has brought with it many challenges to education and athletics, TPH Phoenix has done everything possible to keep its student-athletes safe. The consistency of the educational process has been tremendous accomplishment this year, even with the challenges faced.

“First and foremost, we’ve had a commitment to keeping the kids safe,” said Blatchford. “It’s taken diligence to make sure everyone is following the proper precautions and beyond that keeping them in school and progressing in their development. We feel like we’re fully set up to give our student-athletes a good experience even if they do have to quarantine. The Kinduct mobile app helps with our communication to the student-athletes and keeps them on track. We’re set up to handle a blended learning environment. We easily make a transition if it’s needed. There are also at-home programs the student-athletes can use to stay on task with their training and academics.”

That consistency has been a key factor for Julie Hymovitch, whose son Evan (2007) attends the CoE in Phoenix.

“The experience has been even better than we knew it was going to be, particularly in light of COVID,” said Hymovitch. “What’s really important is that there haven’t been many stops at the CoE, and they’ve been very consistent. That’s been so huge that my kid has been able to be social. Some kids that have not been able to have that social piece in safe learning environment is a big problem. Mental health is really important. I’m hearing from a lot of friends whose kids are stuck at home, and they’re seriously depressed. That’s one of the things that has been huge for us and a big deal that TPH has been able to do this safely during a pandemic.”

Building Leaders On and Off the Ice

The TPH Center of Excellence isn’t only about training and educating student-athletes. It’s about preparing them for their future. Each CoE has success coaches and mentors that provide students much-needed one-on-one attention to help them develop and be ready for their future, even if it’s not in sports.

“TPH is unique in that it gives student-athletes a huge opportunity to succeed at the next level of life, and in their communities, whether they’re athletes or not,” said Brendan Burke, Player Development Coach & Mentor. “They’re going to get more personal attention here than any other school I know of here. We work with them on planning and making a schedule. They build a lot of life skills here that will help them be ready for college and university.”

Student-athletes are surrounded by staff members with experience at various levels of sport. Whether it be major juniors in Canada, juniors in the United States, NCAA Division-I or even professional hockey, TPH Phoenix has mentors and coaches that share their experiences with students.

“It’s a unique staff because no two staff members bring the same experiences,” said Blatchford. “No matter what level a student-athlete here wants to play at, there’s someone here that has something to offer them. They understand what it takes to be a pro and play at different levels of the sport. The fact that they’re able to be surrounded by people that played at the level that they aspire to get to and a group of people who understand what it takes to be successful and are eager to share that knowledge with the student-athletes to give them the best opportunity to succeed.”

For parents, having mentors and leadership training even outweighs so many other aspects of what’s provided at the Center of Excellence. Amy Koch has twin sons, Zachariah and Samson (2009), that attend the CoE in Phoenix. She’s already seeing the positive impact from the mentorship program on her sons.

“The biggest thing that stands out to me is the mentorship program that has created very strong foundations for leadership and team building,” said Koch. “They also understand the importance of skill building as opposed to just a game, and that’s resonated in their performance with their club team, their home and other sports they play as well. The CoE provides our children with the ability to set goals and have the foundation and structure and support to execute them successfully both in hockey, school and life.”

In regards to Evan Hymovitch, the CoE has helped him become a leader in the locker room and at home.

“His coaches picked captains and assistant captains two months into the season,” said Evan’s mom Julie. “Evan was made captain because of how he led in the locker room and how he interacted with his teammates. I think that has a lot to do with what happens in our house as he’s the youngest of five. The CoE is something where he has just wanted to shine. He used to be introverted, and now he’s the first one to ask how he can help. He’ll just jump in and offer help at school and at home. It’s little things that prepare you the future. It’s something that clicks with him at the CoE where he takes that and bring it forward. Everyone has noticed a difference in him. It has given Evan so much more confidence both on and off the ice. It’s made him a better teammate. It has enhanced his academic life. When I look at him as a student compared to last year, I’ve seen big changes.”

Unique Academic Experience

From a balanced learning environment, to being flexible in a pandemic, the way a student-athlete learns at the CoE in Phoenix has been one that parents enjoy. Balancing school and athletics have played a huge role in reducing stress and actually giving students more of their own time to do other things, which includes spending time with family.

“It’s a whole lot less aggravation for me,” said Hymovitch. “I’m not having to do the battle about homework and no tears over a lost weekend. Evan has free time now because of the balance while he’s at school. With his siblings being home right now as a part of virtual college, he gets to spend time with them, too. If he was at regular school, he wouldn’t have this extra time to be with his family. He’s been staying on or ahead of pace because he’s loving school. He actually enjoys it. He geeks out over the way school is set up, and he also gets the extra ice time without it being extremely early in the morning. It also gives extra to do extra workouts and whatever he wants to do. It’s so nice because we’re not all stressed.

Student-athletes are given goals and the expectation is that they will follow through on them. They’re given responsibility and ownership over their day, which parents feel helps them succeed. Those are skills that won’t only help them succeed in secondary school, but in college and beyond.

“I think it’s been amazing to watch the program set really strong goals and understand the follow through and step by step process on how to become a good scholar, friend and athlete,” said Amy Koch. “Those building blocks are important. Sometimes we forget that it takes steps to get there. Especially in academics, it’s giving them ownership, leadership and quality performance that they’re accountable for themselves. It’s an independent type of learning where they have to set those goals and hit them. They’re learning how to break them down and understand that little goals are just as important as the big goals.”

It’s definitely a unique learning environment at the CoE, but it’s one that student-athletes and staff embrace. Many liken it to preparing them for life on a college campus. More independence mixed with heightened responsibility.

Another notable unique experience at the CoE in Phoenix is the ability to bring in special guests on occasion. Special guests can include former or current professional players sharing their life experiences and answering questions from student-athletes. With a staff so well-connected in the hockey world like the one in Phoenix, it’s not a mystery that they’ve been able to bring in some fantastic speakers.

“We’ve been super lucky to have a lot of NHL players come to the Phoenix area and train,” said Burke. “We also have a lot of ex-NHLers that live in the area. We recently had Jake Bean and Matt Dumba to come speak as special guests. There’s a huge hockey community here that we’ve been able to lean on already in our short existence.”

Burke made the connections with Dumba and Bean while all three were playing in the WHL in the mid 2010s. And while those are a couple guests that have stopped by, many more are sure to come.

A Strong Foundation

Less than a year in, TPH Phoenix is making a positive impact on the lives of everyone involved. They’ve built a foundation with their student-athletes with an understand that gains aren’t immediate, but that they take time. Now that they’re establish, the center, its student-athletes and its staff will continue to grow.

“Significant gains take time; it’s not immediate,” said Brett Blatchford. “Once a foundation was established with the student-athletes, it became seamless to go through training on and off the ice. We continue to add layers now and can see the growth. The student-athletes went through on and off-ice testing at the beginning of the year, and they’ll go through it at the end of the year so we can see the growth each one has made.”

It’s an exciting time to be at the Center of Excellence in Phoenix, and space will be available soon for the 2021-22 school year. To learn more about the Center of Excellence, click here.To apply click here.

A wealth of junior, college and pro experience added to growing market

(PHOENIX, ARIZONA – August 25, 2020) – Brett Blatchford, Director of Hockey-Operation for Total Package Hockey (TPH) Phoenix has announced the additions of Matthew Vanden Berg, Brian Slugocki and Scott Munroe as Player Development Coaches and Mentors. The addition will bring a plethora of experience and knowledge to TPH Phoenix.

 

Slugocki played junior hockey in Phoenix with the Phoenix Polar Bears before going on to play for the University of Arizona. He also took his talents overseas for a year in Sweden following his college career. Lately, he’s spent time with Darryl Belfry, who is recognized as a leader and innovator in hockey having spent time training players like Auston Matthews, Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon and John Tavares.

 

“Brian has first class detail in skill development,” said Blatchford on Suglocki. “He’s spent time on the ice with Darryl Belfry learning how Darryl teaches and the best ways for people to acquire skill. He’s very trusted in the Phoenix community as a skills instructor, especially in the way he communicates with the kids.”

 

Matthew Vanden Berg adds copious amounts of knowledge in coaching. He’s been a Director of Player Advancement as well as a coach and mentor with the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals. Plus, Vanden Berg continues to serve as a video coach and analyst with various organizations. His skills in analyzation will also be valuable as TPH locations begin evolving ways to evaluate player performance.

 

“Matthew has spent the last few years with the Milwaukee Jr Admirals developing players there,” said Blatchford. “His level of detail is going to help us, especially with the Kinduct app.”

 

Adding the wisdom of a goaltender is going to be extremely valuable to TPH Phoenix. Scott Munroe brings with him a background in playing and coaching at multiple levels of the sport, including leading the University of Alabama in Huntsville Chargers to a College Hockey America regular season championship in 2003.

 

Scott Munroe is a high character guy,” said Blatchford. “Scott has coached in the QMJHL and Division III college hockey. He also played eight years in the American Hockey League, so there’s a huge amount of knowledge for us to draw from. He’s a goaltender and fellow coach and mentor Brendan Burke is a goalie as well. They’ve been collaborating on the best ways to develop a player here. Those two will lead us.”

Embed from Getty Images
All three additions to TPH Phoenix will be excellent role models both on and off the ice, and the student-athletes involved in the program will learn valuable skills that will carry them through life.

 

“They have to be a role model for the kids from a character perspective, who they are as people and also as mentors,” said Blatchford. “That is almost not hockey related, but obviously in the end, they’ll have something else to offer. It’s character, it’s mentorship, it’s being a good role model for the kids at our center. I don’t think we could have done a better job in Phoenix in that regard.”

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – TPH Phoenix is excited to announce the dates for Experience TPH, a FREE event offered both at the Ice Den Chandler and the Ice Den Scottsdale. Experience TPH is an opportunity to learn from some of our TPH Phoenix coaches and better understand their teaching style, which focuses on fundamentals, blended skills, and habits/concepts/details that can be taken back and inserted into any club team system. Come have your student-athlete meet our coaching staff at the skate! We will follow up with families to provide additional detail on our “Study. Train. Play” model after the skate. At TPH, we are pride ourselves on the mentorship, growth, and development of the hockey player, athlete, student and person.

If you are interested in the TPH Center of Excellence, this is a perfect opportunity to get a more full experience to better understand if it is a fit for you or your student-athlete at no charge. Space is limited, below is the details and registration links for each location.

Experience TPH – Ice Den Scottsdale Details

  • Date: July 20, 2020
  • On-Ice Session: 7:45-8:45pm
  • Maximum Players: 20
  • Birth Years: 2002 to 2009 (NOTE: the CoE accepts 6th through 12th grade only)
  • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Experience TPH – Ice Den Chandler Details

  • Date: July 29, 2020
  • On-Ice Session: 7:45-8:45pm
  • Maximum Players: 20
  • Birth Years: 2002 to 2009 (NOTE: the CoE accepts 6th through 12th grade only)
  • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

NOTE: Players MUST be competitive Tier II, AA players or Tier I, AAA players to attend. NO HOUSE/RECREATIONAL REGISTRANTS!

Total Package Hockey, in partnership with Sequoia Choice, are pleased to announce that Casey Africano will serve as the Academic Site Coach for the TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence. Casey brings a unique blend of athletic, academic and servant leadership-related experience to the TPH-Phoenix team.

“Casey Africano checks all the boxes we in TPH and our Arizona academic partner Sequoia Choice were looking for in an academic leader for our Phoenix CoE,” Director of Hockey-Operations Brett Blatchford said. “Casey is a former Division I athlete who has dedicated most of her adult life to student-athlete service and leadership. She maximized her time and experiences as a college athlete, has worked in a university setting and most importantly, understands the important role academics plays in athletic success. Her resume and accomplishments prove that.”

The resume and accomplishments Blatchford speaks on include a Bachelor of Arts Sociology and Theology from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Education in Policy and Leadership from Southern Methodist University. While at Notre Dame, Africano was a four-year member of the Fighting Irish Women’s Softball team and a four time Monogram Winner. While pursuing her athletic goals on the field, Casey also served as Community Service Coordinator for the team and occupied an important role as both a community service member and chairperson for the Notre Dame student-athlete advisory board. In her role, Casey successfully organized over 750 athletes in team and individual service opportunities, such as Habitat for Humanity, Fighting Irish Fight for Life, Relay for Life, various charitable causes at the South Bend Center of the Homeless and organized events for Fighting Irish athletes to dedicate time at children’s hospitals across South Bend. In addition, Casey was President of the Notre Dame Christian Athletes organization and was one of five seniors to be chosen to participate in the prestigious Rosenthal Leadership Academy, which is a student-athlete advisory council for Notre Dame athletes.

The California native’s commitment to learning and leadership continued at TCU, as Casey once again took advantage of various leadership opportunities while pursuing her Masters Degree. Since July 2018, Casey has worked full-time as a Coordinator in the Student-Athlete Development Office at TCU, a role that has provided her with experiences in a variety of areas, including organizing philanthropic projects, creating holistic experiences for student-athletes and overseeing efforts related to diversity and inclusion with TCU sports, to name a few.

“Both myself and Sequoia Choice Assistant Principal Sandy Ramirez felt that Casey’s resume and Zoom interview oozed leadership and a commitment to impacting student-athletes, first and foremost, in the classroom,” TPH Chief Academic Officer Bill Simms said. “Her many relevant experiences being around high-level athletes coupled with her desire to create a positive academic experience within the CoE will no doubt assist our inaugural class in adjusting to our unique, academy-style model. We are thrilled to have Casey on board, and we are excited to watch her and Brett make the Center of Excellence the ultimate Study, Train, Play destination in the Phoenix area.”

All of us in TPH join Brett, Bill and Sequoia Choice in welcoming Casey to the TPH family.

Interested in learning more about Sequoia Choice and the TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence?

  • Click here to download our Center of Excellence brochure.
  • Click here to request more information on the CoE model.
  • E-mail Director of Hockey-Operations Brett Blatchford at bblatchford@totalpackagehockey.com
  • Click here to apply for the TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence, which is the first formal step in the registration process for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Interested in learning more about Sequoia Choice? Click here.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Total Package Hockey is pleased to welcome former Jr. Coyote ‘AAA’ goaltender and Canadian Hockey League standout Brendan Burke to the TPH-Phoenix team as a full-time Player Development Coach & Mentor, with concentration on instructing the goaltenders who attend the Center of Excellence.  A Scottsdale native, Burke returns home to The Desert after wrapping up four years at the University of Alberta, where the 25-year-old graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics while tending the net for the Golden Bears, considered by many to be one of the top college hockey programs in Canada.

 

“Brendan is going to be a terrific fit for the Coach-Mentor role with TPH-Phoenix,” Director of Hockey-Operations Brett Blatchford said.  “His experiences playing at high levels and his desire to give back not just to a game that has been his passion, but also to a market that helped him discover his passion. will provide great perspective to our student-athletes.  Our inaugural class at the Center of Excellence will love Brendan’s infectious energy and his ability to relate to what each individual is going through, not just on, but also off the ice.”

 

After competing at the 16U level for the Jr. Coyotes in 2010-2011, Burke embarked on a five year journey in the Canadian Hockey League, first with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, from 2011-2015, where he was part of a WHL championship squad in 2013, followed by brief stints with the Calgary Hitmen and the London Knights of the OHL.  While a member of the Knights, Burke captured a Memorial Cup and was the recipient of the Dave Pinkney Award, given to the top goalie tandem in the OHL.

Embed from Getty Images

Selected 163rd overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by his hometown Coyotes, Burke elected to pursue his academic and athletic goals following his five years in the CHL, heading north to the University of Alberta.  In addition to his on-ice accolades, the Scottsdale native was a 2020 Academic All-Canadian award recipient and was nominated for UAB’s prestigious Randy Gregg Award, presented to a student-athlete who excels on the ice, in the classroom and in the community.

 

Burke is excited to return home to Scottsdale and continue his hockey journey by mentoring aspiring elite student-athletes at the TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence.

 

“I feel very fortunate that my first job following graduation is in hockey, is in Scottsdale and involves doing for young players what so many have done for me,” Burke said.  “The Center of Excellence provides so many unique opportunities for goal-oriented student-athletes to reach their goals, whether it be in hockey, in school or in the real world.  Hockey players in the Phoenix area are lucky to have a program like the CoE right at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, and I am grateful to be a part of it.”

 

If you are interested in learning more about Burke and the TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence, we invite you to visit the links below.

  • Click here to download our Center of Excellence brochure.
  • Click here to request more information on the CoE model.
  • Click here to apply for the TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence, which is the first formal step in the registration process for the 2020-2021 school year.

Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce that Shane Harvey, Director of Sports Performance for the new Ice Den Performance Center will also take on the role of Strength and Conditioning Coach for the TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence.  Harvey brings twelve years of coaching and off-ice training experience to the student-athletes that attend the TPH-Phoenix CoE.

“Shane Harvey’s reputation, commitment to training athletes safely and effectively and the values he has about development make him a perfect fit to execute the training component of the Study, Train, Play CoE experience,” TPH-Phoenix Director of Hockey-Operations Brett Blatchford said.  “His beliefs are rooted in principles that have withstood the test of time, yet he is also progressive and innovative and understands that not all athletes train the same.  Shane’s commitment to individualizing and customizing the weight room experience for each student-athlete based on age, size and athletic base will allow us to make the greatest possible impact on the Hockey-Athlete’s who attend the CoE.”

Harvey, a Red Deer, Alberta native, is no stranger to training hockey players in the Phoenix area.  Since 2017, Shane has served as the Director of Sports Performance at the Center for Athletic Training & Physical Therapy located at the Ice Den in Chandler.  During this time, Shane has not just trained but also coached various Tier I and Tier II players from the Jr. Coyotes and Arizona Bobcats organizations.

Prior to his arrival in The Desert, the University of Southern Maine graduate has served as a head instructor for Okanagan Hockey Schools, a performance coach at the OA Sports Center in Saco, ME, the Director of Player Development for the Portland Jr. Pirates and during the 2014-2015 season, Shane served as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Pirates American Hockey League team.  The 32-year-old holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, as well as certifications from the NSCA, TRX Functional Training, EXOS and USA Hockey.

“I am very excited to expand my role with the Jr. Coyotes while also having the opportunity to work together with TPH and their knowledgeable, passionate staff,” Harvey said.  “Our Performance Center will be state-of-the-art, built for hockey development and will put the needs of our athletes first.  I believe this will be a very successful partnership that will impact the athletes that train with both TPH and the Ice Den.”

The Center of Excellence model is open to Tier I ‘AAA’ and Tier II ‘AA’ 6-12th grade hockey players from across all organizations in the Phoenix area.  Blatchford believes Harvey’s involvement will appeal to the masses.

“Having Shane serve as our Strength and Conditioning Coach offers both continuity and freshness,” Blatchford explained.  “For CAHA players that attend the CoE but already train with Shane, working with him allows for greater customization and consistency.  For the student-athletes who attend the CoE that don’t play for CAHA teams, working with Shane will provide fresh perspective on how to improve strength, speed, athleticism and endurance, which are the pillars of being a successful TPH Hockey-Athlete.  Simply put, having Shane Harvey involved in the CoE is a win for both TPH and hockey in Phoenix.”

If you are interested in learning more about the TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence, we invite you to visit the links below.

Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce the hiring of Brett Blatchford to the position of Director of Hockey-Operations for its Phoenix division.  Blatchford, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, brings a unique blend of NCAA Division I and professional playing experience, hockey coaching, instruction and business experience as well as a unique leadership skill set to his new position in the desert.

“Brett Blatchford is an intelligent, high character, highly passionate leader who brings a tremendous skill set to the position of Director of Hockey-Operations,” TPH CEO Nathan Bowen said.  “Brett is a great fit not just for the TPH team, but also for the Phoenix market.  Brett was a team-first player, was diligent in the classroom and was a leader within the Notre Dame community.  Throughout the interview process, it became clear that Brett’s credentials made him the overwhelming choice for this role.  He shares in our belief of taking a holistic approach in impacting student-athletes and recognizes that the most important responsibility we have is to improve the individuals under our tutelage as students and as people.  While we know our kids will definitely develop on the ice under Brett’s tutelage, families can rest assured that when their sons and daughters leave the CoE, they will be poised to excel off the ice and in the game of life.”

Photo Source: UND.com

Blatchford has been part of the Notre Dame community for most of the past 14 years.  He was a member of the Fighting Irish hockey team from 2006-2010, helping his squad to its first National Championship appearance in school history, a number one national ranking, and two CCHA championship titles.  While at Notre Dame, the Temperance, MI native was chosen as the recipient of the Charles “Lefty” Smith Coaches Award, given to the unsung hero of the hockey program who had to overcome adversity while displaying loyalty and commitment to his teammates.  In addition, Blatchford was a three-year member of the Young Leaders of Notre Dame and a four-time Monogram winner.

Blatchford, his wife Kaci, and his daughters Stevie and June are excited about joining the TPH family and calling the Phoenix-area home.

“It is an honor to be named Director of Hockey-Operations for TPH-Phoenix,” Blatchford said.   “The resources in place provide a tremendous opportunity to develop and mentor each student-athlete at a very high level.  I look forward to joining the strong management nucleus already in place in the TPH-Phoenix model.”

After a brief playing career with stops in the CHL, ECHL and AHL, Blatchford transitioned to coaching and instruction.  He served as the Director of Hockey for the Coppell High School Hockey Association in Coppell, TX, returning to a state where he played three seasons of junior hockey.  The 33-year-old established himself as a force with the NAHL’s Texas Tornado from 2003-2006.  During his time in the Lone Star State, Blatchford was a team captain for two of his three seasons, was named the NAHL Academic Player of the Year, earned the Texas Tornado Award, given to the player who exemplifies a team-first attitude, and won three consecutive NAHL National Championships.

“A reoccurring theme throughout Brett’s career were the awards he received which spoke to his leadership, perseverance and selflessness,” TPH-Phoenix Partner Taylor Burke said.  “A significant part of our responsibility in the TPH-Phoenix CoE is to prepare our student-athletes for any demand they may face, whether that be in hockey, the university setting or in the real world.  Brett knows the way to do that and we are confident he will show our student-athletes the path to reaching their full potential on and off the ice.”

After his retirement from the professional game, Blatchford had the unique experience of serving on the coaching staff at Denver University.  He spent one season as the Volunteer Assistant Coach for the Pioneers program, considered by many to be a national powerhouse.

In 2016, Brett would return to South Bend to take on the role of Assistant Program Manager for the Compton Family Ice Arena at the University of Notre Dame.  In his role, the former Fighting Irish defenseman would find himself back on the ice, training players of various ages and skill sets within small group settings, similar to the CoE model.  Two young, aspiring elite hockey players Blatchford would find under his tutelage were the sons of Andy Slaggert, who is the long-time Associate Head Coach of the Notre Dame hockey team.  Slaggert, whose sons have worn the red, white and blue with the US National Team Development Program, praises TPH’s hiring of Blatchford.

“Brett will be a great addition to TPH as he has extensive experience instructing all levels of players on ice,” Slaggert said.  “He is passionate about player development and I have seen this first-hand when he worked with our sons.”

Prospective TPH-Phoenix Center of Excellence families, as well as those already registered for the 2020-2021 school year, are invited to meet Brett virtually during a hybrid meet & greet / open house event, scheduled for Monday, June 8 at 6:00 PM PST via Zoom.  Click here to RSVP.  In addition, families are welcome to e-mail Brett directly at bblatchford@totalpackagehockey.com

Dear TPH Student-Athletes, Coaches, Volunteers and Parents,

All of us are itching to get back on the ice, in the performance training rooms and back to the game we all love. At TPH we have been spending a lot of time planning for this; what it will look like depending on what state, city and county we are in and how we best ensure it’s as safe as possible for you and our team members. We have been so fortunate to have strong relationships with all of the facilities we work with. We are consistently in touch with them and understanding what their protocol is or will be when they open up. We will adhere to all policy and protocol in each facility. We are so thankful for all the work that they are putting into this preparation, training staff and implementing a new normal for all of us to come back to the rink safely.

We are grateful to the Nashville Predators organization and the entire coaching staff led by John Hynes, Dan Lambert, Dan Muse, Ben Vanderklok, Lawrence Feloney and David Good who spent time with our coaches, sharing insight and providing some continuing education over the course of a few weeks to the group. Our coaches have been using this time to learn, improve and get ready for the upcoming training opportunities, along with how we can maximize training and development this summer and in our TPH Center of Excellence to support the student-athletes if we have a delay in full training and games.

TPH Colorado Director of Hockey Operations Jordan Pietrus created “Shield Our Communities” along with TPH team members and student-athletes raised over $10,000, thanks to a generous match from our partner Maynard’s Industries, to provide face masks for local healthcare providers in Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Huntsville, Indianapolis and Nashville. Mentoring and messaging to our student-athletes that when times get tough, we get tougher and we help those who need help and take care of others. This is deep in the fabric and culture of our game, and is part of what makes hockey so special.

Special thank you to our COO Francis Anzalone and Frank Anzalone, along with the rest of our TPH Team members who quickly built out the TPH Virtual Hockey Development platform so players at our CoEs and across the country could continue to train and put the necessary work in at home. We are now prepared for any future potential closures or pauses that may come up when school starts back this fall, to ensure our student-athletes can continue their development and be mentored at home.

We have seen an increase in parent participation at home and support on academics and virtual training which is great. Thank you for your patience, many of you have sent in emails of encouragement and support for coaches, academic leaders and we really appreciate your positive notes.

We have experienced some unique support from many friends in the NHL. Several positive role models have taken time via Zoom calls with our CoE student-athletes including Quinn and Jack Hughes, Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, Aaron Volpatti, Scott Laughton, Brandon Naurato, Angelo Ricci, Eric Lacroix, Colton Parayko and Torey Krug. We are so grateful for their time and what an amazing opportunity for our aspiring elite student-athletes to learn from each of them.

Finally, a HUGE thank you to our Academic Directors and additional education team members who never missed a beat supporting and holding the student-athletes accountable over the past 2 months. Just over 70% of TPH Student-Athletes will have all A’s and B’s, as the Edmentum platform allowed them to quickly transition from the classroom to home without interruption. Although our physical CoE locations have been closed, our academic progress, mentorship and off ice training never missed a beat. Our 5th grade class in Nashville finished up two weeks early and graduated into middle school and we have seen a number of students finish their studies for the semester 2-6 weeks early. We are so grateful for the incredible support from EdOptions Academy, Michigan International Prep School, Brighton Area Schools, GlobalEd, Mount Vernon, Athens Renaissance School, McNairy County Schools and especially our academic partner Edmentum who have provided the platform and support team to keep our student-athletes on track and able to successfully complete the semester and school year during this crisis with no interruption. Lastly, we want to congratulate the TPH CoE senior class of 2020 as we celebrate the graduation of 41 student-athletes across all 7 CoEs as they take their next step in their academic and hockey marathon!

We still have a long road ahead of us, but it is key we focus on the positives, celebrate the wins, even when they are not back up on the scoreboard yet. It’s been awesome to see so many people, programs, teams and players from all across the country step up in their own way to contribute to staying positive, the hockey community is ONE team and we still got this!

Enjoy your memorial day weekend, please take a moment to remember all our service men and women who gave their lives while serving and please thank those that have served and are currently protecting our freedom.

Take care,

Nathan Bowen

Chief Executive Officer

Total Package Hockey, LLC