Introducing the Coach Development Framework
by Derek O'brien|01 OCT 2020
The Coach Development Framework is brand new resource that forms part of the newly-launched IIHF Development Hub.

Within the new IIHF Development Hub, the lion’s share of the resources are logically dedicated to player development. Of course, coaches play a monumental role in this development and, as such, one section in the Development Hub is dedicated to the development of ice hockey coaches within Member National Associations (MNAs).

“The Coach Development Framework is brand new,” IIHF Membership Development Manager Aku Nieminen said about the 23-page downloadable manual that forms the foundation of the Coaching section. “The content is best described as a summary of best principles relating to quality coaching, coach development and respective programs.”
As stated in its introduction, the objectives of the IIHF Coach Development Framework (CDF) are to:

  • Promote a shared understanding of quality ice hockey coaching
  • Provide best principles for Coach Development programs
  • Function as a guideline for MNAs when developing their own Coach Development programs
  • Function as a guideline for improvement of existing Coach Development programs
  • Offer guidance on developing certification and re-certification standards
  • Support the integration of the Coach Development programs of each MNA into their respective National Qualification Frameworks
  • Support the development in each MNA towards recognizing coaching as a full profession
The Coach Development Framework provides universal guidelines to coaching that can be applied at various levels, depending on the MNA's requirements. 
While a large part of the CDF emphasizes what coaches should be concerned with regards to players in the sections Quality Coaching and Coaching Context, part of it is also concerned with something that coaches often neglect for the sake of their players, and that is their own physical and mental well-being.
“This would be one of the new areas that we address,” said Nieminen. “It is very typical that, with all the demands around them and like in many other stressful jobs, the coaches forget to take care of themselves and that leads to a number of challenges. We want to help them to the extent that we can.”
The last two sections are dedicated to Coach Development, in which the key pillars of a holistic Coach Development Program are identified as the development of professional knowledge, interpersonal knowledge and intrapersonal knowledge, termed “essential coaching knowlege”. The importance of cohesion between the Coach Development Program and Player Development Program within the MNA is also emphasized.

“As we work to grow the game, we must pay special attention to a key aspect of an ice hockey player’s development: the coach,” said IIHF President René Fasel. “MNAs that are focused on development rely so much on coaches to spearhead player recruitment and retention. When conceiving the Development Hub, we knew that the IIHF needed to put resources into creating such a framework, so that coaches can be equipped with the best knowledge from top researchers in sport.”
In addition to the Coach Development Framework, the Coaching section also includes several valuable links for coaches. The most significant of these are the dozens of Seminar Talks videos from the last three International Coaching Symposiums, which include world-renowned coaching experts such as Alpo Suhonen, Uwe Krupp, Mel Davidson, Tom Renney and many others speaking on a range of topics.
As we work to grow the game, we must pay special attention to a key aspect of an ice hockey player’s development: the coach.
René Fasel, IIHF President