Ian Clark's On Hockey: Monarchs' Mark Morris coaches the coaches
Head Coach Mark Morris of the Manchester Monarchs at a practice earlier this season. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Manchester Monarchs head coach Mark Morris, assistant coach Freddy Meyer, director of hockey operations Hubie McDonough, video coordinator Matt Lane and a handful of Monarchs players teamed up for a coaches clinic.
“I just like to share the things I’ve learned over time and things that are meaningful to me as a coach,” Morris said. “All those things we discussed here make the game fun and if we can get guys to appreciate and understand that hockey does not need to be a real complicated thing. If you come in prepared as a coach, the players are going to know it and it’s going to make the game more enjoyable. We really want to simplify things so players, coaches and parents all enjoy the game and help grow the game for future generations.”
“Coach Morris mentioned that kids are quieter and you have to find different ways to reach them and motivate them. It was nice to hear that because you wonder how as a coach to handle that,” said Dan Belliveau, head coach of NHIAA Division III state champion Souhegan. “There are more distractions out there now with the social media and the different tech things they can do. They’re not rocking the bus on the way to the game like it used to be. Back in our (playing) days we’d be singing songs and rocking the bus all the way to the arena.”
“It’s grown immensely,” Morris said. “Our workouts were laughable when I started. We barely had enough room to work out and guys were more concerned about where they were going after practice. Now, it’s a way of life. Our guys are well-schooled in all the little routines you have to do in order to reach the highest levels. Practices, we used to make up by using our imagination. There’s a lot more technical aspects to the game now with video and scouting.”
“I had gone to a UMass-Lowell event similar to this, but they didn’t have any on-ice instruction,” said Alan Hamer, an assistant with Belliveau at Souhegan. “So it was nice to see the players actually conducting the drills they were going over. The visual aid was great.”
“We’re listening to coach Morris in the AHL and some of the concepts and basics of the game that he’s talking about hits home with us in high school and even at the younger levels,” Belliveau said. “It’s nice to have that association with it. It’s nice for them to reach out to the coaches in the community.”