Sylvan Lake’s Cody Reynolds is excited for a new challenge as he takes the head coach reins next season.
Reynolds will be joining Red Deer Midget Hockey League with the Red Deer U18 AAA Optimist Chiefs starting this season.
“Stepping into a role of a head coach and into a new league to me and that sort of thing is going to be very exciting and very fun and a challenge for me personally,” said Reynolds in a phone interview.
He is also looking forward to getting back to focusing on player development as well as making sure the coaching staff is doing everything they can to promote their players.
On the bench he will be joined by some familiar faces in the coaching staff.
Stephen Pattison has been with the Optimist Chiefs for a number of seasons and Reynolds has become acquainted with him through Hockey Alberta and the community over the years.
Fellow Sylvan Laker Tyler Lightbown has worked with Reynolds at the Red Deer College Kings for the past two seasons.
Reynolds had been with the Kings for seven years, but has stepped down from his associate coach role for the head coach position with the Optimist Chiefs.
“I think everybody has their own strengths that they’ll be able to bring to the table and I’m very excited to be working with them and be part of a collaborative group,” Reynolds said, who also runs the Fox Run Hockey Academy.
Moving into this new position and team Reynolds says he will draw from his teaching background as well as from his experience with the Kings and the hockey academy.
“Just having that ability to understand how different players learn and then being able to adapt to that to help them succeed and just the patience, the ability to break things down and explain it at a level that works for that athlete,” said athletic director and Grade 8 teacher.
“With coaching the way it is today so much of it’s teaching and establishing those relationships and being able to identify how students or how athletes learn the best and be able to build them up from there.”
Reynolds also worked with Team Alberta during the WHL Cup, a U16 program, last year.
He is looking forward to working with the group of younger guys and pulling from his past experience as the seasons unfolds to work on developing the players.
As the new season begins later this year he will be ready to put his stamp on the Optimist Chiefs’ program.
Only time will tell what this year’s team will look like as training camp and selection rolls around, but as a coach he is looking to establish the culture they want and build from the ground up.
“For me the biggest thing is just the excitement of a new challenge and the excitement of working with some of these elite athletes that have bright futures and putting together a very competitive team for the league next year.”