Alabama head coach John Bierchen (center) along with assistant coach Kyle Richards (left), and video coach Jeron Jacobs (right), speak to members of the Frederick Jr Freeze Bantam U14 AA team on Friday evening prior to ACHA Division 1 game between University of Alabama and Navy at McMullen Arena in Annapolis.
Members of the Jr Freeze Bantam AA team visited the McMullen Arena in Annapolis this past weekend to attend the ACHA Division 1 game between Navy and University of Alabama. Prior to Friday evening’s game, Alabama head coach John Bierchen spoke to the team along with assistant coach Kyle Richards and video coach Jeron Jacobs. Each coach shared a brief history of his experience, passion for coaching and what brought them to the University of Alabama. The coaches answered many questions including: What it takes to play at an ACHA Division 1 level and what coaches look for in a recruit.
Coach Bierchen philosophy is: Preparation and Consistency. He says, “To perform as an elite athlete means that whether it’s playing in a game, doing a practice drill, or working in school. The coaches stressed that in order to be successful in hockey, school, friendship, work, you have to do and pay attention to the little things. You have to give each proper attention; which means you need to learn how to balance work, hockey, girl friends, school etc. If you aren’t having fun, you will likely burnout and shift your focus to something else. Preparation was discussed as a “process” to be repeated (ensure all equipment packed, arrive 70 minutes before game, skates already sharpened, etc).
The coach also believed Junior Hockey was the best path toward playing college hockey due to the discipline and habits developed in managing your time and environment. However, the coaches have also seen strong players coming from Midget programs as well.
The University of Alabama was in the region for games with Navy and University of Delaware this past weekend. Former Freeze Player Ian Soifer, defenseman for Alabama, arranged for Coach Bierchen to speak to the players when he found that many were interested in coming to the game.