Girls� hockey program in Rochester, New York, USA and the surrounding Monroe County region

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Bio and Coaching Philosophy

Joseph Occhino 


My name is Joseph Occhino and I have been coaching youth hockey for over 15 years from running learn to skate clinics and mini mite programs through coaching midget level hockey. I have also coached a number of other sports and have worked as a teacher for 15 years in a variety of different learning environments. This experience gives me a solid understanding of how learning and understanding, which when mixed with skill and talent is the key formula for improvement, learning and reaching one’s personal goals and potential.

Like many, I grew up in an ice rink and have been involved in the sport throughout most of my life. I played house hockey as a mite and moved to travel up to midget level. I also played 2 years of JV hockey and 3 seasons of Varsity hockey as well as club hockey at the collegiate level.

There are millions of coaches around the world in hundreds of sports and activities and each one brings a unique style, system and goal to the team or player they are coaching. A coaching philosophy is a snapshot into that style and the best coaches have a clear, vivid understanding of their coaching philosophy and how it shapes the journey towards the end goal.

My personal coaching philosophy has been developed over my various years of coaching a number of sports, my experiences working in the classroom with students for both academics and athletics as well as the college degrees and certifications I have earned in education. My philosophy is perfectly in line with who I am as a person and my personal morals and beliefs about sports, children and life.

My coaching philosophy can be broken down into three parts and each is essential to the success of my team or players. It is important to understand that success does not mean winning it means growth. I find that winning is often a positive byproduct of me achieving these three parts but success can occur without winning.

The first of the parts of my coaching philosophy is to have fun. When kids are taking part in an activity or sport they should be having fun and enjoying themselves. Learning, growth and improvement can all be achieved when having fun and players are more likely to learn and retain information when in a comfortable learning environment. It is important to note than fun can and should be competitive, intense and difficult at times or else the sport or activity becomes boring. Players should be pushed and challenged to achieve goals that are within their personal abilities which is not the same for every player.

The second of these parts is to teach the fundamentals of the game. I believe that the team that makes the least mistakes, executes the basics of the game and has each player do the role they are assigned will win more often than not. I don’t worry about winning when I coach, I worry about coaching the players to do the basics of the game and making the correct play in each situation because winning will come as a result of this execution.

Finally, the third part is team play. I stand strongly by the saying that we win as a team and lose as a team. Team play is something I always push and encompasses many things. It includes parental involvement, off ice activities, giving 100% for your teammates, picking teammates up when a mistake is made, celebrating their successes, teaching each other and more.

I feel I have been super successful in coaching both in record and parent/player satisfaction because I am so comfortable with my coaching philosophy and surrounding myself with parents/players that are in line with my coaching style and expectations.