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WGHA Series: Coach Spotlight

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WGHA Series: Coach Spotlight

By Diane Sokoloski

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MEGHAN GRIGG “ My dad and I are successful coaches if every girl signs up to play again next year.” Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 12.39.00 PM

CURRENT TEAM: The Flames –Atom HL Team 5 “Our girls did incredibly well, gold in one tournament, silver in another and competing in the B championship. They were motivated and developed extremely quickly.”


❚❚played hockey since she was eight years old

❚❚played rep for six years, dad was the coach

BEST THING ABOUT COACHING: “Watching personalities develop and grow throughout the season. Knowing what incredible, powerful young women they will be. The girls became fifteen new little sisters and there was always one hanging off of me.”

PHILOSOPHY: “The more you give the more you get. You will get more if you show up to every practice and go that extra mile.”

P=P-I. Performance equals potential minus interference. “Performance is equal to what a player is capable of when obstacles that are going to hinder potential, are removed. We remind the girls to get obstacles out of the way to reach their potential. At this age there should be a balance between fun and seriousness.”

FAVOURITE PRACTICE DRILL: “Dumping the puck into the circle and battling for it. This shows our girls how to be aggressive, but safe. They learn how to protect the puck in a way that they would not during other drills.”

THE WHGA: “It is an incredible league that provides amazing opportunities for young women to play, volunteer or coach. Sometimes the road in hockey isn’t smooth, but just remember why you play. You need to be playing for you and that applies to any sport.”

MARK DESBIENS “ Hockey is more than a sport – it builds character, promotes teamwork, encourages fitness, exercise, strength and confidence.”

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CURRENT TEAM: Midget/Intermediate HL Team 6 “We won the league championship (14-3-2) and the Mississauga X-mas Tournament.”


❚❚Played for 50 years, still playing in men’s leagues

❚❚Born and raised in Montreal, father & uncle played Jr. A, Memorial Cup

❚❚Uncle was drafted by Boston in 1942

❚❚Daughter started WGHA in 2001 and Mark started as assistant coach

❚❚Head coach every other year since, coached Select (DS) team for two years.

BEST THING ABOUT COACHING: “The smiles. Being a part of the players’ lives as they grow and develop.”

PHILOSOPHY: “Fun first, but when you teach the basics of skating, shooting and passing it is more fun to develop and improve. My main message is teamwork.”

FAVOURITE PRACTICE DRILL: “Five girls in a star pattern around the circle, they quickly pass across to each other keeping the puck flat on the ice. One player goes around the circle to see if she can get back to her spot before the puck comes back around.”

The WGHA: “It does an excellent job providing a positive and safe environment. Girls’ participation in sports continues to grow but it should be acknowledged in the media, and social media. It is also important to encourage more females to take coaching and administrative positions.”

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