Back in April, OHA Edmonton named Serge Lajoie the Head Coach of their Midget Prep team for the 2019-20 season.
With the season less than two months away, and the inaugural Edmonton Elite Summer Prep Camp beginning next week, we caught up with Coach Lajoie in our latest Five Questions feature:
What are you looking forward to most about joining OHA Edmonton?
“The opportunity to work and collaborate with high character and knowledgeable coaches. Help build a strong environment where our young student-athletes can develop the necessary skills and character to be successful at the next level in hockey and in the community.”
As someone that spent five seasons playing at the collegiate level and another 13 seasons coaching at the collegiate level, you know all about the student athlete experience. What can you take from your experiences and pass on to OHA Edmonton student athletes?
“The importance of placing a strong emphasis on the development of the person, not only the player. Establishing a culture and environment built on strong core values and getting the student-athletes to live those core values on a daily basis is instrumental in preparing these young individuals to be the best version of themselves on and off the ice.”
What kind of coach is Serge Lajoie? Describe your coaching style.
“I’d like to think that I am firm but fair. I place a lot of importance on habits and details; playing the game the right way, but also allowing the players to be creative. I want the players to realize that everything matters, and you earn your confidence through proper preparation and putting in the work during practices.”
Although new to the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) as a coach, you have been around the league as your son was a two-year CSSHL student athlete. What do you know about the league and what are you excited about going into next season?
“The CSSHL is an excellent development league with numerous elite players and many high-level coaches. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to continue my professional and personal growth this season and challenge my comfort zone working with a younger age group of athletes.”
The Edmonton Elite Summer Prep Camp begins July 22 at the Royal Glenora Club. What can participants expect the focus of the camp to be and what will they take away from the experience?
“The objective of this camp is to work with select elite players from the Edmonton area in a high tempo camp with a focus on individual fundamental skills and coordinated team play concepts. Our on-ice program will consist of a combination of individual skills and hockey IQ related programming. The participants should come away with a broader understanding of new skill development drills in isolation and how they fit within the team game.”
Choosing Okanagan Hockey Academy was one of the best decisions I have made for my development. The relationships I built with my teammates, coaches, and staff are bonds that will last a lifetime. The structure of the program on and off the ice prepared me to play junior hockey.