Coach Adam Colagiacomo
Youth hockey in Vaughan has been flourishing under coach Adam Colagiacomo for 17 years now. Coach Colagiacomo runs the Pro Star Hockey School at Vaughan Sports Village. His school teaches kids aged four to 18 how to improve their skating, puck handling and many more fundamental aspects of the game. But more importantly, this coach prides himself on teaching his students how to be polite, responsible and hardworking — all quality traits that Colagiacomo views as essential factors in being successful.
Colagiacomo comes with a vast knowledge of coaching, along with playing four years at the professional level. After getting to know all of his players and their families, Colagiacomo takes a fatherly approach to running his camps. When I spoke with him about his occupation, his eyes lit up with excitement while discussing his students. Coach Colagiacomo takes his time to help grow and guide his students to succeed in all areas of life, like any good father would. One example of this is former student and Vaughan resident Victor Mete, current NHL defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens. Colagiacomo’s school is a great place for youth players to improve, but more importantly, to enjoy the game. What more can a parent ask for?
Q. How did you get into coaching?
A. When I was 23, I was at a crossroads in my career. When I was playing for the Chicago Blackhawks farm team, I went home to recover from a serious injury and a former coach asked if I wanted to help him coach youth hockey. From the third session in, I just fell in love with coaching and just knew that’s what I wanted to do. It was a way to give back to kids and help with their on-ice performance. But more importantly, you’re teaching them good habits and good life skills.
‘It takes getting to know all of your players and being able to manage different expectations and abilities. That’s one thing I enforce with myself and my other instructors, and that’s getting to know each kid individually’— Coach Adam Colagiacomo
Q. How do you teach kids of different backgrounds, cultures and religions?
A. That’s the hardest part of being a coach, and that takes experience and time. I’m very lucky and happy to be a coach all the way from a four-year- old right to an 18-year-old pro. It takes getting to know all of your players and being able to manage different expectations and abilities. That’s one thing I enforce with myself and my other instructors, and that’s getting to know each kid individually by asking about how school is going, for example. Which leads to them wanting to work hard for you because you have given back to them, by getting to know them on a personal level.
Q. What is the last message you tell your students right before they leave your school?
A. First and foremost, I thank the kids for coming out and allowing us to be able to do what we love every single day. When you walk away from our school, I remind the kids about the importance of work ethic, and how you need to be hardworking in all aspects of life in order to succeed.