/ Hockey Player Development & Strategy Course

Learn the Fundamentals of Hockey Development

In just eight weeks, you will learn how to build winning organizations and unlock player potential from a former Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Successful hockey organizations are the best at acquiring and developing talented athletes. Hockey Player Development & Strategy encompasses the strategies and tactics behind the mental, physical, and emotional improvement of the athletes within an organization.

Learn player development techniques first-hand from Mike Johnston, former Pittsburgh Penguins head coach, and current Portland Winterhawks VP, general manager, and head coach.

Our 8-week course will set you up for success in your hockey career!

Weekly Live Interactive Zoom Chats with Mike Johnston

May 6

Weekly Live Interactive Zoom Chats with Mike Johnston

8-week online course
Access to SMWW network
Resume enhancement
Ongoing career advice
Class size limited to 15 students




Learn More About Becoming a Hockey Player Development & Strategy Student

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What You Can Expect From Our Hockey Player Development & Strategy Course

Selecting players via the NHL entry draft or via free agency is only part of the equation of building a winning hockey team. Acquiring a player and then failing to develop their mental, physical, and emotional attributes sets them up for failure as they advance through your organization.

Scouting and selecting is a wasted exercise without development – the three techniques go hand-in-hand!

In our 8-week online Hockey Player Development & Strategy course, you will learn the techniques used by junior, major junior, NCAA, and NHL organizations to mold their players and unlock their full potential.

This includes:

  • Hockey player instruction
  • Hockey game strategy
  • Minor league progression
  • Teaching process of coaches, managers, and coordinators
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Medical care
  • Health and nutrition
  • Mental skills training

Each and every hockey player in an organization's system has an individualized development plan, and you can learn how it’s all created and organized as part of this one-of-a-kind course!

Take a peek at what your 8-week course in Hockey Player Development & Strategy will look like:

Week 1: The 5 Core Areas of Development for all hockey players
Week 2: Scripting Your Identity and hockey culture 
Week 3: How do Hockey players Respond to Different Coaching Styles – Know Your Locker Room
Week 4: Unique Challenges with Today’s Hockey Players
Week 5: Teaching Through Games 
Week 6: When to Push – When to Pat – When to Pull Back
Week 7: Role Modeling – Developing Leadership
Week 8: Role of Analytics in Hockey and Player Development 

In addition to weekly live interactive Zoom video chats with former NHL Head Coach Mike Johnston, you will receive textbooks for the course.

Are you excited yet?


Sports Jobs This Course Will Prepare You For

Player development is an essential function of every professional sports organization. In hockey, this skill is increasingly valuable, as players are often selected at very young ages and need proper guidance to develop mentally, physically, and emotionally.

To be ready to compete at the next level requires a development strategy – this course will set you up with this essential knowledge!

Once you learn the skills associated with developing players, you will be suited for sports jobs including:

  • Hockey Coach
  • Hockey Operations
  • NHL Player Development
  • Minor League Operations
  • Player Development Coordinator
  • Minor League Administrator
  • Hockey Scout
  • Hockey Analyst

And many more applicable roles!

Meet Your Course Mentors

Mike Smith 

Mike Smith has been in the game of hockey all of his life, a true lover of the game. Mike began his hockey career in 1976 as an Assistant Coach for the New York Rangers, he also worked as an Amateur Scout for U.S. college students. As Mike rose through the ranks as a coach, he got his first Head Coaching position in 1979 for the Tulsa Oilers, of the Central Hockey League. 

In 1982 Mike earned the position of Assistant General Manager and Assistant Coach for Team USA during the World Championships, where he was involved in roster management and coaching. 

Mike progressed in his role as a Front Office personnel and eventually made his full-time switch to the Player Personnel side of hockey when he was hired as the Director of Recruitment for the Winnipeg Jets of the NHL, in 1981. 

Through the years, Mike has served as an AGM to a number of teams before reaching the height of General Manager for the Chicago Blackhawks from 1993 until 2003. 

Now, Mike serves as the Co-Founder of Coleman Analytics, a cutting-edge hockey analytics company that helps develop the new generation of players and hockey statistics. Mike consults with many NHL teams in his role at Coleman and continues to have a strong pulse on the game.

Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston is the head coach, vice president, and general manager of the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, leading the organization to four straight WHL finals and one league championship.

After his successful first run as head coach of the Winterhawks, Johnston became the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, amassing a 58-37-15 record in his nearly two seasons with the club. Johnston then returned to the Winterhawks bench as head coach with increased responsibilities as VP and general manager.

Before his tenure with Portland, Johnston worked for Team Canada and spent nearly a decade as an assistant and associate coach with the Vancouver Canucks (1999–2006) and the Los Angeles Kings (2006–2008).

During his two successful stints in Portland, Johnston has helped 28 Winterhawks get drafted into the NHL, including eight players being selected in the first round.

Mike Johnston knows a thing or two about developing young players to be their best!

Dr. Lynn Lashbrook

Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, the president and founder of SMWW, has over 40 years of combined experience as an educator, coach, athletic administrator, and registered NFL agent. Dr. Lashbrook manages the SMWW agency representing over 200 Agent Advisors and athletes worldwide.


Why Player Development & Strategy Is an Essential Component of Hockey Operations

Watch an NHL game and you will be amazed at the size, strength, and mental toughness of the players on the ice

Take Tampa Bay Lightning Defenseman Victor Hedman for example, 6’6”, 232 lbs, Norris trophy winner, and over a decade active in the NHL. He is a fully developed, elite NHL player in his prime.

A player acquired in the NHL entry-level draft is physically smaller, hasn’t played a game in the league, and is around 19-years old. You can’t just throw them on the ice with a guy like Victor Hedman and expect magic to happen!

An NHL organization invests millions of dollars in hiring and developing a scouting department, traveling them around the globe to analyze players and eventually execute the professional draft. Without a player development strategy, the organization will never see the fruits of these efforts, they’d be setting their talent up to fail!

NHL teams know the scouting and acquisition of players is only part of a successful teambuilding equation!

Player development is a major part of every organization in sports, and you can learn the principles and techniques behind the art, from Mike Johnston one of the most respected names in hockey.

If you are serious about working in hockey, chances like this don’t come around that often. It’s time to jump on it!

Course Details

Weekly Interactive Zoom Video Chats: A unique aspect of each 8-week course is the opportunity for students to participate in weekly, interactive Zoom video chats with fellow students, Dr. Lashbrook, Mike Johnston, Mike Smith, SMWW mentors, SMWW agents, certified agents in all sports, professional athletes, and renowned guest speakers. This is a tremendous opportunity to network within the professional and collegiate sports industry by getting to know your instructors and fellow students personally via the Internet. This allows ample opportunity to network, ask questions, and discuss aspects of the course openly with instructors and fellow classmates. The interactive Zoom video chats are available via any online computer with a microphone. If you are unable to attend the chats, they are archived and you can listen at a more convenient time. These chats are so popular that graduates continue to come back and participate to enhance their opportunities. Sport-specific chats are offered on an ongoing basis.

Online Education: This innovative academic course is facilitated through a Web-based educational delivery system. You will enjoy the online discussion boards, weekly readings, weekly quizzes, course projects, and interaction amongst fellow sports business-minded students and faculty. The course content is the foundation for a successful career as a sports agent.

Global Participation: SMWW students participate from over 162 countries. Courses have an international influence and instructors will cater assignments to specific countries or leagues. Countries with economic challenges are eligible for economic discounts.

University Credit Available: For additional fees to Fort Hays State University in Kansas, you may receive graduate or undergraduate university credit for Sports Management Worldwide's courses. Click here for more information.

Sports Career Conferences: Throughout the year, Sports Management Worldwide hosts Sports Career Conferences at a variety of sporting events. These are fabulous networking events that put SMWW alumni in the heart of the action. Opportunities to meet head coaches, gm's, player personnel, scouts, and fellow sports agents are facilitated. Visit SMWW Sports Career Conferences to learn more. SMWW alumni receive discounts.

Advanced Certificates: Want to take your career to the next level? Our Advanced Certificates have been hand-selected by our team of sports industry experts to put you on a path to success. These bundles allow you to take advantage of our biggest discount available, by bundling multiple courses and becoming an expert in that field. Learn more about our Advanced Certificates here.

Military Discount: For those individuals who represent their country in military service, (active, reserve, or retired) we offer a discount. Thank you for serving your country! For more information on the Military Discount please Click Here.

Tax Write Off (For USA Citizens): SMWW course tuition, books, and supplies can be used for education tax credits. Save your receipts and consult with your tax advisor on how this applies to you.

Certificate & Resume Reference:

Successful graduates of the SMWW Hockey Player Development & Strategy Course will be sent an SMWW Certificate of Accomplishment. This represents not only your achievements in the course but also demonstrates your personal commitment to self-improvement and the ability to "self-train" yourself for higher positions within the football industry.

In addition to your certificate, you will be given the stamp of approval by SMWW.

Resume Redesign Service

Acquiring the skills necessary for your dream sports career is only one part of the employment journey. Even with the required skill set, you still have to market yourself properly to attract the attention of sports industry employers. 

At SMWW, we’ll teach you the skills you need to thrive AND help you redesign your resume for optimal impact in the sports industry. We’ll help you craft a resume to include your new skills in Hockey Player Development & Strategy, include a reference from Mike Johnston and optimize it to reach hiring managers searching online.

We want you to become the next SMWW success story and will go to great lengths to help you get there!


Or a single payment of $1,650

Includes all course textbooks and access to a web-based classroom. Shipping is additional.


If we offer an economic discount in your country, it is included in the estimate above. Exact pricing including the discount is shown before you complete checkout. Payment plan options are provided during checkout.

Prerequisites: Must be 18 or older to participate and have a passion for sports.
(In the UK: 087 12884799)

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