There’s a new goalie coach in town, with Bison men’s hockey goaltender Byron Spriggs opening up his own camp this summer.
The Byron Spriggs Goaltender Development Camps will take place for one week each in July and August at the Seven Oaks Community Centre. Each camp consists of four full days of goalie-specific training, including two and a half hours on the ice, one hour of video analysis, and one hour of dryland training. There will be camps for two different age groups, 8-12, and 13-17 year olds.
Spriggs has an impressive resume as a goaltender, having captured the Manitoba Junior Hockey League title in 2014 with the Winnipeg Blues, and a brief taste of professional hockey – Spriggs was the emergency backup on two separate occasions this past season for the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers and Manitoba Moose.
Spriggs has worked with many camps over the years, including the Starbuck Hockey Academy and the Rick St. Croix Goaltending Camps. Spriggs has also worked as a goalie coach for numerous teams, including the AAA Bantam 2 Monarchs, winners of the 2016-17 city championship.
The Winnipeg native has been a goalie for 15 years and has developed a wealth of knowledge to share with young goalies. He is coming off his best season with the Bisons, with a 12-8-2 record and a 2.82 goals against average and a .913 save percentage in 22 games.
For Spriggs, it has been a dream to run his own goalie camps since working at other camps in years past. He said he wants to take what he has learned working as a goalie coach for the past eight years and teach what he thought was successful.
One thing that Spriggs takes pride in is a low instructor to goalie ratio, which he believes makes his camp unique compared to many others offered.
“It gives the instructors a chance to know each kid,” he said. “When you have a camp with 18-20 goalies, instructors don’t really get to know each goalie and what their strengths are.”
Having gone to, and coached at, so many goalie camps, Spriggs has seen that the personal relationship built with goalies can really help them progress.
“When you have the nametag on the helmet and that’s the only way [instructors] remember you, it’s not as authentic as it should be,” he said.
The benefit of attending a camp run by Spriggs will be the personalized feel of it. Each day will have a common theme, and instructors will have the freedom to tackle and develop some of each goaltenders’ weaknesses.
“I take really great pride in seeing a goalie get better,” he said. “I’m not just being the guy who sits at the camp and does the drill and shoots the puck and says ‘next.’”
Spriggs’ passion and love for hockey is a true indicator of how seriously he takes coaching. Running his own goalie camps is a nice change of pace for Spriggs, as he is used to being the one getting critiqued during the season.
“During the season you play so much, getting told you should work on this or work on that,” he said. “It’s kind of interesting being on the other side, offering up the little pieces of criticism or advice the way your coaches are doing it to you.”
With so many different camps available to kids these days, the Byron Spriggs Goaltender Development Camp seems to stand apart from the rest, with their individualized training and the sheer passion and knowledge of a phenomenal goalie like Spriggs.
Information on pricing and registration can be found at byronspriggsgoaltending.com