High Performance Program

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The Toronto-Leaside Girls Hockey Association’s High Performance Program provides a cohesive, comprehensive and complete development experience to the players and coaches of all of our AA programs. This shared and complete approach gives every deserving athlete the ability to compete at the highest levels possible and help fill their toolbox so they that they reach their own success both on and off the ice.

A Shared Approach

Our High Performance Coaching team has a collaborative approach, establishing a pathway for our players to develop from the grassroots to the university level. Under the guidance of our High Performance Program Director, our coaches will deliver a connected and comprehensive on-ice program that emphasizes developing the skills, hockey IQ, and habits players require to both reach and excel at the highest levels of women’s hockey.

Our collaborative on-ice approach will include:

  • Integrated Practices - Regular opportunities for players from a younger division to join the team above them in team practices.
  • Combined Skill Development Sessions - Our combined sessions put players from multiple AA teams on the ice together to learn, compete and grow together.
  • Game Opportunities - Our High Performance Program players are provided the opportunity to play in games for the age division above them.
  • Shared Philosophy/Curriculum - All our AA programs share similar principles of play, and the players are taught the key concepts and skills needed to excel at both their current level and the level above. Our teams develop a similar annual plan which is monitored by the High Performance Program Director.
  • On-Ice Evaluations - All our AA players are evaluated by our High Performance Program Director and coaches using a common template to help manage player development for the following year.

We believe regular exposure to the next level up and consistency in on-ice development across age groups helps players and families better understand what it takes to reach the highest levels and provides them the foundation to support their player’s development accordingly.

A Complete Approach

Our High Performance Program focuses on the development of the complete person and gives all our HPP players opportunities to grow, lead and excel on and off the ice.

This complete player development approach will include:

  • Shared Culture/Curriculum - Our HPP Director, Kim McCullough, runs regular seminars for our HPP coaches and players, immersing them in The Wildcat Way of being, training and playing. These seminars cover areas such as mental performance, team building, leadership and university hockey opportunities (for our older HPP teams).
  • Off-Ice Development - In addition to our Wildcat Way seminars, our HPP coaches provide regular opportunities for players to develop the physical, mental, emotional and life skills necessary to succeed both on and off the ice.
  • Dryland Training - will be guided by GRIT Athletics Director of Sport & Performance, Dan Noble and all teams/athletes will have ample opportunity to train with GRIT gritathletics.ca
  • Mental Performance Training - teams work on areas such as goal setting, focus, composure and resilience at least once per month
  • Leadership Training - players learn what it takes to be a leader in a team setting as well as within the community
  • Video Sessions - coaches use video regularly to teach and inspire their team
  • Off-Ice Evaluations - These meetings between players/parents and coaches will occur at least twice a season to provide players with specific feedback on strengths and areas to improve.

For further information or questions about our High Performance Program, please contact Kim McCullough, Director of Hockey Operations, at: hockeyops@torontoleasidewildcats.ca

2021-2022 High Performance Coaches

Michelle Janus - U21 AA Head Coach

  • Combined 8 seasons coaching at the USPORTS level as a Head Coach and an Assistant Coach
  • Hockey Canada High Performance 1 Coach Certified
  • 3 seasons at the PWHL level with Leaside and Mississauga
  • Hockey Alberta U16 Challenge Cup
  • OWHA U18 Selection Camps
  • Played for the Burlington Barracudas in the CWHL (2009)

Melissa Wronzberg - U18 AA Head Coach

  • Head Coach, Toronto Leaside U15A - 2020-21
  • Co-Head Coach, Toronto Leaside U18AA, 2019-20
  • Assistant Coach, Toronto Leaside PWHL, 2016- 2019
  • Hockey Canada High Performance 1 Coach Trained
  • Played for Ryerson Rams (OUA/CIS) - Assistant captain, 2011-2016
  • Played for the Markham (Brampton Thunder), 2016-18 - 2018 Clarkson Cup Champion

James Roxborough - U15 AA Head Coach

  • 10+ years as a skills development coach
  • Director & Head Instructor of Hockey Extreme Hockey School (located in Leaside)
  • 4 years coaching on the bench at the AA level (Boys)
  • Currently Associate coach/ Skills instructor with 20-21 u13 ‘A’ Wildcats

Nicole Ballantyne - U13 AA Head Coach

  • Head Coach Leaside Wildcats U13 AA 2020-2022
  • Assistant Coach Leaside Wildcats Peewee AA 2019-2020
  • Assistant Coach Leaside Wildcats Midget A 2018-2020
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach Leaside Wildcats Midget AA 2015-2016
  • University of Waterloo Women’s Hockey 2011-2015

Steve Donaldson - U11 AA Head Coach

  • Head Coach Leaside Wildcats U13 A 2020-2021
  • 30 years coaching experience in hockey and soccer
  • 7 years experience as player development coach with Toronto-Leaside
  • 20 years experience as player development coach with Scarborough Sharks