Hockey Canada B.C. Hockey Hockey Alberta Saskatchewan Hockey Association Hockey Manitoba Hockey Northwestern Ontario Ontario Hockey Federation Hockey Eastern Ontario Hockey Quebec Hockey New Brunswick Hockey P.E.I. Hockey Nova Scotia Hockey Newfoundland Hockey North

Q & A with Female U-18 POE Assistant Coaches Alana Serhan & Jessica Kaminsky

by Ezra Ginsburg  |  April 28, 2020 9:00 am

The Program of Excellence (POE) is Hockey Manitoba’s Provincial Team program that offers developing high performance athletes the opportunity to represent their province at National and Inter-Provincial tournaments while providing a solid development path to the National and International stages.

The two assistant coaches for Female U-18 Team Manitoba this season are Alana Serhan and Jessica Kaminsky. Alana Serhan recently completed her first year as a Head Coach with the Bantam AA Twins in Winnipeg.  Alana played five seasons for the University of Manitoba Bisons and won a National Championship in 2018.  This will be Alana’s first year as a coach within the Female U-18 program.  Jessica Kaminsky is currently an Assistant Coach with the Winnipeg Ice in the U-18 AAA Manitoba Female Hockey League.  Jessica played four years of NCAA Division 1 Hockey with Union College.  This will also be Jessica’s first year as a coach within the Female U-18 program.

Alana Serhan

Age: 25
Hometown: Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan
Years Coaching: 2 years as Head Coach, 5 years of Skills Coaching

What has the transition been like for you going from a player with the U of M Bisons to coaching?

I learned so many valuable things while playing for the Bisons. I apply a lot of my playing career to my coaching career however the most important thing I apply to my coaching career is how to properly facilitate a practice. Our practices at the U of M were consistent and were instrumental in our team’s progression throughout the season- I use this format while planning all my practices.

You won a National Championship with the U of M Bisons in 2018. What stands out to you about that championship run and that group of players?

That championship season was all about the little things. The year we won no single player took a day off. We did not train everyday, but during our times when we didn’t practice, play or workout we were getting our work done. On days off’ girls did individual recovery sessions, or yoga etc- (Bisons Head Coach Jon Rempel) called this active rest. I think this was key to keeping us prepared mentally, physically and emotionally.

With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the hockey season and with social distancing, how have you stay connected to the game and coaching/training?

Hockey talk is a constant in my household. My two roommates and I are all still very connected with the game and we share our experiences to help navigate the hockey word. In addition to the hockey talk I try and run 4-5 times a week- I never enjoyed running until I was done playing hockey, it always used to feel like work… and now it’s part of my workout regime.

Who are some female players or coaches that have really inspired you and had a big impact on your hockey career?

Growing up I did not have too many female hockey role models as the female game didn’t really have a voice then. Now, I find myself being inspired by previous teammates who are also perusing coaching careers. Maggie Litchfiled-Medd (HC RHA) and Venla Hovi (JHD Female Lead instructor) are two people I am in constant communication with. These two have vast hockey knowledge and I know I am fortunate to call them both close friends. In addition to these two I keep in close contact with previous teammates and friends who are still involved with the game. Many people seem to think an expert is the one who travels the farthest, I myself try and learn from those around me to help me improve my skills. Coaching truly is a community of sharing and learning together- networking and sharing ideas is CRUCIAL for success and development.

What do you like to do In your spare time?

​In my spare time I enjoy wood working, upcycling old furniture and anything outdoors.

—–

Jessica Kaminsky

Age: 25
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Years Coaching: 7

You played four years of Division 1 women’s hockey at Union College in New York and were the Captain in your final season. What stands out to you when you look back at your four years with Union College?

Looking back at my college playing years, it’s hard to remember the outcome of every single game played, but rather the experience as a whole and the friendships/memories that were made throughout. I definitely miss stepping on the ice and competing, but I am grateful I can live vicariously through the athletes now through coaching.

You began coaching hockey camps in 2013 and began as an assistant coach with the Female Bantam AA Twins in 2016. Was it a natural transition for you to get into coaching and what do you like most about it?

Surprisingly, the transition was very natural. When you are involved with the game for so long, the familiarity of the game and all of the prior experiences and learning you have done throughout, prepares you for the transition as best as possible. There is definitely a difference from playing versus coaching the game, however, I felt prepared and ready to take on this new challenge. What I enjoy most about coaching is the connection you make with the athletes and watching them grow over time and being able to experience their success, both individually and as a team.

With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the hockey season and with social distancing, how have you stay connected to the game and coaching/training?

Unfortunately, our season with the Winnipeg ICE ended just as we were heading to the Provincial finals. As tough as that was (especially for the graduating players), the pandemic slightly lined up with the end of the season so taking a break from the game would have been a natural progression.  I’m definitely eager to get back to watching and coaching hockey!

Who are some female players or coaches that have really inspired you and had a big impact on your hockey career?

I was very fortunate to have some great coaches throughout my playing career and they definitely inspired me to not only start coaching but provided me an expectation of the coach I aspire to be. Although some of the coaches only coached me for a year, the positive impact they had on me as a player then, and coach now, is substantial and I am forever grateful for them all. Specifically; Liz Keady, Chris Cobb, Claudia Barcomb, Nick Carpenito, Ali Boe and Julie Chu.

What do you like to do In your spare time?

I definitely try to stay active. Playing sports, going for hikes etcetera. During this pandemic, my go to has been baking, reading, puzzles, and games! Oh and Netflix of course.

 


Share
Hockey Canada News
WHL News
Nov 2, 2005
OPEN FORUM