Doucette has been coaching within AVMHA on and off for the past 12
years. Born and raised in the Alberni Valley, he first took to the ice
as a figure skater until the age of 7. This skill in skating led him to
hockey and he started his first season playing competitive until the age
Mike then moved to
Kamloops for a short 3 years playing in the Recreational Divisions.
Moving back to the Valley in 1984, he tried out and made the Midget Rep
Timbermen 1984/1985 season. Following that season, he was invited to
training camp in Canmore, Alberta and made the team. Doucette broke his
leg in the first and only game he played for the
‘Canmore Junior Broncs’. This
unfortunate accident took him out of hockey for one long year and
although his leg has never been the same prior to the injury, Doucette
never packed up his gear for long. He went back on the ice after that
year of rehabilitation, and hasn’t looked back (He still plays today in
the AV Men’s League).
Doucette’s interests in
coaching sparked when his son started playing hockey 12 years ago. He
first started coaching with Barry Johnston as an assistant and then over
5 years, gradually moved to the higher divisions helping out his son’s
teams. In 2003 he decided to assistant coach in the (first year) Mites
Division with head coach Dan Sexton.
That same year, local
coach Mark Addy introduced AVMHA to the ‘Hockey Canada Initiation
Program’, which is used by minor hockey associations across Canada. (The
Initiation Program was developed by ‘leading hockey people across
Canada’ after the Nagano Olympics and focuses on ‘making children’s
first contact with hockey a safe and enjoyable experience’). Doucette
jumped at the chance to be involved with this program as it not only
teaches the kids the positive basics to hockey (fun, respect and
sportsmanship) Doucette was also learning new skills as a coach. He
says, “The goals that I’ve set as a coach isn’t to win every game; it’s
not all about hockey. It’s about teamwork and teaching the players life
skills on and off the ice”.
In the 2008-09 season,
Doucette was passed the torch of ‘Initiation Program Coordinator’ from
past coordinator and mentor Dan Sexton. Doucette was once assistant
coach under Sexton when he began with Mites and says, “Dan has been a
great mentor to me and took me under his wing and helped me go on to
head coach 5 years ago.
Doucette has coached
Novice (MacDermott’s Flames), assistant coach with the Atom Rep
Bulldogs, Instructor of ‘CanSkate’ (Arrowsmith Skating Club) and
‘CanPower’ with Power Skating head instructor Jan Norman.
Doucette has also taught new coaches of Mites and Novice (age group 4-8)
using the tools set out by Hockey Canada, focusing on skill development.
The abundance of coaches in these 2 divisions is “particularly keen to
learn, take clinics and extra courses to thrive as productive coaches”.
2008-09 season was the
introduction of the Tim Horton’s ‘Timbits Hockey’ program to AVMHA.
According to Doucette, “The Timbits Hockey program is long overdue in
our community and a fantastic program. I like the fact that they sponsor
many different sport programs for kids; not just hockey. Tim Horton’s
not only is the sponsor for the Mites Division, but they also contribute
approximately 50 new jerseys this year, provide coaching gear, and
provide the kids with water bottles, medals, you name it. If we choose
to host a tournament, Tim Horton’s provides it all! Local owner of Tim
Horton’s, Stefanie Weber, was behind getting all of this off the ground
this year; a huge thank you for getting it started!”
‘Recreation Coach of the Year’ award recipient continues to coach,
Doucette laments, “I love the game and teaching kids to play a game that
we all love. I’m merely giving back to the game that gave me so much. I
wouldn’t be the coach I am today if it wasn’t for Dan Sexton”.