Mission of the Dolphins Development Program:
Provide players, families, and coaches with support and training focused on elevating Culture, physical Competence, Confidence, enhancing Connection and Culture.
Coach Development will include various training and education sessions including on- and off-ice workshops and webinars from guest coaches. In addition, clear expectations will be set for coaches in accordance with the Quality Sport and Hockey Canada Long Term Development Plan and in line with Hockey Canada’s Long Term Sport Development Model. The goal is to provide opportunities for coaches for continual development, introduce new concepts and ideas to help engage and enhance player experiences, and create collaboration across coaches within the organization.
Player Development will be focused on individual and organizational-wide development including skills sessions, webinars for players, and skating opportunities across the organization. The organization wide curriculum will be led and implemented by Kelly McDonald and a include a team of accomplished female skills and goaltending coaches. Following the Quality Sport and Hockey Canada Long Term Development Plan and in line with Hockey Canada’s Long Term Sport Development Models, the Dolphins Development coaches will provide valuable experiences for players beyond skill development and serve as role models and mentors for all players within the Dolphins Organization.
Dolphins Development Program Leads
Dr. Karolina Urban – Director of Coach & Program Development
Karolina has 5 years experience as a head coach in youth hockey including 3 years as the head coach for the U15AA Leaside Wildcats. She has over a decade of experience teaching power-skating, skill development and strength and conditioning to young athletes. Karolina believes that as coaches you need to provide athletes with a platform to succeed and find ways to build their confidence, inspire players to push outside their comfort zone, and teach the intangibles that are inherent to success in sports at the highest levels including teamwork, accountability, determination, communication and having a growth mindset.
Karolina’s hockey experience includes competing at the Canada Winter Games in 2017 for Team BC, finishing top ten all time in points and captain for 3 years while competing for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, three years competing in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League including assistant captain of the Calgary Inferno and winning the Clarkson Cup with the Markham Thunder in 2018. Academically, Karolina has her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Health and Education (kinesiology), MSc in neuroscience and PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Toronto and often draws on evidence based knowledge to guide team plans.
- Oversee Full program execution and communication between all stakeholders
- Create coaching development plan and training
- Implement evaluation tools
- Provide coach support
- Ensure coaches are aligned with Dr. of PD skill training modules.
- Support Dr. of PD on creating and executing appropriate skill training per Age group and level
- Create opportunities for learning for coaches including a tool kit of resources, seminars, workshops
- Generate opportunities for players/ parents and teams to be exposed to top female athletes
Kelly McDonald – Director of Player Development
Kelly is entering her third season as the Head Coach of the U15 AA Dolphins. Before coaching U15, Kelly spent two seasons as the assistant coach of the Etobicoke Junior Dolphins. Within the OWHA, Kelly has coached at the 2018 Ontario Summer Games (U16 High Performance) as well as the U18 Canada Winter Games Selection Camp. Most recently, she was on staff with Team Ontario Blue at the 2019 National Women’s Under-18 Championships in Manitoba. As a coach, her goal is to create an environment in which athletes can become the best versions of themselves on and off the ice. More specifically, she aims to help create well-rounded student-athletes by providing them with the information, tools, and opportunities to grow.
Prior to coaching, she played professionally in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) and received a full scholarship to play Division I for the University of Maine, a captain in her Senior season. She also has over a decade’s worth of experience in Power Skating and Skill Development. She is currently a teacher and the Director of Women’s Hockey at Everest Academy, a private school for elite athletes.
- Oversee, coordinate and implement on and off ice skill development programming across all teams
- Develop curriculum to be implemented at skills sessions across all age groups and levels
- Increase on-ice skill development through consistent messaging that will back into teams
- Set expectations for each level that needs to be met at the end of the year
Development Committee & Level Representatives
Committee Members: Matt Sulpher, Scott Walling, Illana Smith, Karolina Urban, Kelly McDonald
- Provide insight and direction to guide player and coach development programs
- Establish open communication with all coaches within the age groups and bring feedback to committee to be addressed
- Help ensure that all coaches are meeting the requirements set out by the committee and support if they need assistance to reach the goals