Meet the Coaches: Liz Montroy

2021-22 Team: U18 C

Coaching History: 8 years with VFIHA (U18 C)

What was your coaching pathway?
I played minor hockey with VFIHA, and shortly after my last U18 season, my coach asked myself and one of my teammates if we would be interested in returning to the team the following season as assistant coaches. We said yes, and I’ve been coaching U18 ever since! I’ll be taking on a head coach position for the first time this upcoming season.

What is your coaching philosophy?
One of the things that I always keep in mind when coaching is that the kids on my team are more than just hockey players, and that they have so much going on outside of the rink. I want hockey to be a safe space for my players to learn about and put into practice things that are part of everyday life such as teamwork, conflict management, decision-making, self-confidence, etc. I know from personal experience that life lessons can be learned at the rink, and this can have a huge impact on an athlete’s life at school or work and their relationships with friends and family. I love seeing how each player evolves as an athlete and as a person over the course of the season. I also place great importance on both having fun and working hard, and believe that those two elements are crucial to having on and off-ice success.

Is there a sports moment that has inspired you?
During the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Paralympics I was entranced by the power sport has to bring people together, and I fell in love not just with ice hockey, but with sport as a whole. Because of this I consider the 2010 Games to be a turning point for me in many ways. I now work in sports communications, coach hockey, and engage with sports as an athlete and a fan on a daily basis, and I don’t think I’d be doing any of these things if it wasn’t for Vancouver 2010. Canada’s gold medal in women’s hockey–in particular Marie-Philip Poulin’s performance as an 18-year-old–was also super impactful. It was my first real introduction to female hockey players of that calibre, and the competition provided fantastic role models for me at a time when I was just starting to explore ice hockey.

Why do you think it’s important for girls to have female role models in sport?
I think there’s immense value in young girls being able to have coaches who have been through similar life experiences as a female athlete. In U18 in particular, girls are searching for identity and belonging as they move towards becoming young adults and graduating high school, and this can be a tumultuous time for them. Having coaches they can personally connect with, feel safe and comfortable around, and turn to for help is so valuable, and only enriches their hockey experience and empowers them to be the best they can be as a member of the VFIHA family and in their day-to-day lives.

Interested in joining VFIHA as a coach? Contact us at coach@vfiha.com