Forerunner Hockey Academy
Coach Matt Thomas
-Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist - National Academy of Sports Medicine
- 15+ years of hockey experience including Division 1 ACHA and Division 1 Varsity hockey
- 6 years of personal & group training, skating & skills development, and hockey treadmill experience
- Head Coach of '09 SCS Saints Red & '12 Saints White
Everything youth hockey players need to develop their game in one program:
- On-ice camps & clinics for Skills, Edgework, & Stride Development
- Hockey Treadmill Stride Technique & Power Skating
- Hockey-specific Dryland Strength & Conditioning
- Hockey-specific Posture & Mobility evaluations
- Hockey Sense & Systems development
Building a Model
for a New Generation
of Youth Hockey Players
The sport of hockey has changed a lot in recent years: speed, skill, and hockey sense are more important now than ever.
Youth hockey players have also changed a lot. For better or worse, the "old school" model of intense criticism and punishment doesn't work for most kids. Hockey is a game of mistakes, and youth hockey players need the confidence to make mistakes and learn from them if they are ever going to get better.
The Forerunner Hockey Academy model for development is built from my perspectives as a player, hockey trainer, and coach with the goal of helping every player I work with achieve their goals.
Forerunner Hockey Programs
Dryland & Treadmill programs are organized by both age and skill-level.
- Tier I sessions are for AA & AAA players. Sessions are 90 minutes and are a mix of dryland, hockey treadmill, & synthetic-ice skills training depending on the season
- Tier II sessions are for A & AA players. Sessions are 60 minutes and are a mix of dryland, hockey treadmill, & synthetic-ice skills training depending on the season
On-Ice Camps & Clinics are run out of St. Clair Shores Civic Arena and organized by age and skill level
- Spring and Christmas camps focus on skating and skills development and include a 3v3 or 4v4 tournament
- Summer programs vary depending on the day and include general skills clinics, specific skills clinics, and high-level development camps
Please feel free to reach out with questions regarding which programs are best for your child.
Model for Development by Age
Juniors: Ages 8-11
Balance & Coordination
Players in the Junior age group typically lack proper ankle, hip, and core stability as well as the coordination necessary for a very high-speed, dynamic sport played on a knife's edge. Proper balance and coordination training is essential for improving their edgework and stride development.
Intermediates: Ages 12-15
Strength, Mobility & Athleticism
Players in the Intermediate age group are usually in the peak of their growth process. This often creates strength and mobility imbalances that can affect their overall-athleticism and hurt their performance. Intermediates are also preparing for or already playing contact hockey. Sport-specific strength & mobility training is essential for maintaining and improving athleticism during their growth process as well as mitigating against the risk of injury.
Advanced: 16 & Up
Conditioning & Power
Players in the Advanced age group are generally through the bulk of their growth process and must separate themselves from the pack by increasing their explosive power and acceleration as well as their overall aerobic and anaerobic conditioning.
All Ages & Skills Levels
Speed, Skills & Hockey Sense
No matter their age or level, all hockey players must be steadily working towards improving their speed, skills, and hockey sense. These attributes above all others require the most time to develop and therefore must be trained in an age-appropriate way at every level of development.
"Matt is the greatest trainer ever, gives my son 1 on 1 attention and my son has advanced so much because of Matt. The 1 on 1 is priceless and its like they are BFFs now. Matt really invests in the kids. My son absolutely loves going and loves Matt. Matt takes the time to research different options for each kid. He even showed up to some of his hockey games ❤ thank you Matt."
Christie Landes Tackett
"We adore Coach Matt! Could not ask for a better mentor, trainer, coach and role model for Luke. Thanks Matt Thomas for always setting the bar high and investing in him .... we appreciate you!!!"
Kathleen Pobur Garner
"Coach Matt is wise beyond his years, and always gives 100% of his attention to his clients, 100% of the time. He gets to know each kid, and knows how, and when, to push them. We‘ve had many people comment on how much our son’s skating has improved...Coach Matt and HSA played a huge role in that improvement. Fantastic role model. Gus thinks he’s awesome!"
Kate Hind Mallon
"Our son Emery has been working with Coach Matt for the last 7-8 months and he ABSOLUTELY loves him! The improvements in E’s skating, balance, and overall play are definitely noticeable and a lot of that is thanks to Coach Matt. He knows exactly how hard to push the kids he works with and is super encouraging too!"