Last week I caught up with Guido Lamberti-Charles, one of our new Bantam A1 coaches at the North Shore Winter Club, and I was fascinated to learn about the financial state of some of the teams back in Europe with which Guido grew up.
This week we’re turning back to Guido’s experience here in North America and how a chance connection to a player from Vancouver got the ball rolling.
How did you end up getting connected to Vancouver?
I started coaching for a team I played for in Germany and then I went back to my hometown. I had two players from Vancouver and one from the US and that’s how I got hooked up with Vancouver. That’s how everything started for me in my North American adventure. I saw how much hockey was played here and how things worked here, the minor hockey, spring hockey, training, the training all year - it was a real eye opener for me, so I thought that would be a great place for me to come coach.
Tell us about your experience with Jim and the Bantam A1’s.
I’m working with Jim Dinwoodie and the Bantam A1’s at the club right now. I’ve been coaching for about twenty years, I’ve always been in charge as a head coach, but it’s great to work with Jim and I’ve been learning so much new stuff. We get along pretty well and it’s fun, we’re mostly on the same page. I’ve got the opportunity to work with the North West Giants a little bit too which is great. I like the age there and the transition from Bantam into midget.
The other good thing at Bantam AAA is they’re the next wave of midget players at 15,16,17. I’ve got experience at that age and I really like watching that progression from Bantam, I’ve established a pretty good idea of what the bantam kids need to make it at the next level.
One debate always comes up in my travels regarding kids rushing to make the next level. They all want to play on the A1 teams like we said. You’ve seen kids on both sides of the planet now, what’s your take on the tendency for kids to rush into the next level? Is it good to be ambitious or is it better for kids to follow a slower pace?
Growing up in Europe is the same as I believe it is here, you have to follow the pace that’s right for you. You have to develop in different stages.
So think of Kindergarten, then you move into grade 1, 2, 3, and all the way to grade twelve. Maybe there’s a tiny percentage of kids who are so smart that they jump a grade or skip something. Just a few in the entire world. The normal way is to learn 1+1=2 and then add something to that. It’s the same with any sport in the world, at every single age group there are fundamentals to lear that need to be done properly, or checked off, before you can add extra lessons on top of that. You have to learn what is required of your age group.
If you jump too far, you’ve seen it too, they’re good and then they get pushed and all of a sudden they can’t perform because they’re out of their comfort zone and they’re over the edge. I believe you follow your own pace and you don’t worry about A1 or A2, it’s ok, play where you fit best. Especially at the clubs, there are good coaches at every single level that cares so much about all the kids and how they develop.
The kids get the right training for their level and the rest takes care of itself.