Gerry Trottier, shown above with three of the players he
coaches on the Desjardins' Food Basics Dragons Houseleague Tier I PeeWee
club, was inducted into the Valley East Sports Hall of Fame in the summer
of 2004. Today, he continues to do what he loves best - coaching young
boys and girls.
One afternoon recently, he spent some time supervising a few of his
charges during a fund-raising event at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre.
With Gerry above, are, from the left: Connor Hill, a centerman who
wears #12; Patrick Desmarais, right wing, #8; and Cameron Desjardins,
#7, playing left wing. The 12-year-old boys all play on the same line with
the Desjardins Dragons PeeWees.
Connor and Cameron attend Grade 7 at Valley View Public School, while
Patrick is in Grade 7 at Ecole St. Therese.
Gerry has coached at both the houseleague and NOHA rep levels, but he
prefers the houseleague environment. "All I want to do as a coach is
help the players learn the skills and have fun. The game was meant to be
fun, and that is my main goal."
He continued to explain, "I've discovered over the years that
players who are having fun at what they are doing have much less
difficulty learning. I guess it applies to school as much as it does to
sports. And I really stress with my players that school is more important
than hockey. They must work as hard in school as they do on the ice."
Gerry admits that there are a lot of problems that must be addressed in
hockey today, "I think many of the problems would be solved if we put
more emphasis on having fun and less emphasis on winning. If you are
having fun, you will win your fair share of games. But if you are under
stress and pressure, winning is harder to come by and the game just isn't
fun any more."
The kids who are coached by Gerry Trottier don't need to worry about
whether or not they will enjoy their season. That is a guarantee. And for
some reason, winning just seems to come naturally.
Gerry was also very quick to point out that sponsors like Ken
Desjardins', owner of Desjardins' Food Basics, play a huge role in the
success of minor hockey in Valley East. Ken, who himself is also a member
of the Valley East Sports Hall of Fame, sponsors five teams in the
association - one in each division.