Whether it’s helping lead a track and field team to a state championship, coaching his daughter’s soccer team, showing middle school students how to play football, or his latest venture of coaching his son’s hockey team, it is clear David Tomer of Kalamazoo, MI, has a passion for coaching youth sports. He is Weplay’s newest Coach of the Week.
“My dad was a coach and I watched him growing up,” Dave said. “I became involved in coaching when I started teaching. After I moved on from teaching, I really missed coaching, so when my son wanted to play hockey, I volunteered as an assistant coach.”
As any seasoned coach knows, not every team will be victorious all the time, but learning from every mistake and enjoying the process is essential to a memorable season. Dave knows, first-hand what it is like to coach a team that struggles throughout a season. While assisting his son’s hockey team last year, Dave remembers the team did not win one game during the season, that was until the final game of the year arrived.
“You would have thought we won the Stanley Cup by their reactions when they won,” Dave said. “Even through all the losing, the team stayed very positive and they were a great bunch of kids to be involved with.”
This is Dave’s first year coaching hockey as a head coach. He coaches the R.W. LaPine Inc. Squirt 9-10 year olds - House C League of the Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association (KOHA). The 17-member Weplay roster includes Dave’s son, 9-year-old Jack. The R.W. LaPine Inc. Squirt hockey team has just begun competition having played only one game on the season.
“So far everything is going well and the team has made great progress,” Dave said.
Dave uses the Weplay community as a tool to help him organize and coach his players off the ice by posting messages and hockey related articles and videos that help his players better “understand the rules and tactics of the sport”. He also takes advantage of the Weplay calendar feature to post the practice dates and times for his team.
Not only does Dave coach his son’s hockey team, he has coaching experience in a variety of sports including, a state championship high school track and field team and middle school football. He is even an assistant coach for, his 6-year-old daughter, Hanna’s soccer team.
Dave has been happily married to his wife, Julie, for 17 years. Outside of coaching, he works as a project manager at an analytical chemistry laboratory. He is also the den leader for the Webelos Scouts form Pack 253 in Vicksburg, MI, and enjoys playing hockey as well as bird watching.
David Tomer’s Three Tips for Coaching Success:
1. Know your team and play to your teams strengths. Don’t attempt to make them fit your system or style, rather adapt your system or style to your players.
2. Keep it fun. Positive experiences in youth sports carry for a lifetime and as a coach you have a chance to connect the athlete to the sport that will carry on long after the player has moved on.
3. Inspire creativity.