About The Whalers
Hampton Roads Whalers History
In 1998, a group of committed hockey families recognized the need for a regional youth hockey travel association. Their mission was to provide Hampton Roads families a central location (Chesapeake) for a committed and focused hockey community that shares the enjoyment of hockey and friendships in pursuit of excellence centered around the sport of hockey. Key members such as Jay Stefaney, Dan Richards, and others put in endless hours of volunteerism to organize and field the Greater Hampton Roads Travel Hockey Association (GHRTHA Whalers). They originated the Whalers operational entity, name, colors, and design of the Whalers logo. The Whalers made an immediate and consistent impact on the Capital Beltway Hockey League (CBHL), having several teams take part in the Playoffs and National tournaments while enduring the longest commute to participate in competition each and every week. Throughout the year, the Whalers have continued with this passion and commitment for excellence having enjoyed on-ice success while establishing lifelong friendships.
Committed to Excellence On and Off the Ice
In 2005 Whaler Nation Chairman Patrick Cavanagh, a former professional hockey player who has been training youth and professional hockey players since the early 1990's followed GHRTHA's mission and took it to a new level and standard by introducing a pyramid of player development. The focus of the player development pyramid was to establish key skill sets at specific player age bands featuring high caliber coaching and establishing a top level team that provides athletic/scholastic opportunities that players and families aspire to achieve. Mr. Cavanagh introduced our community to Whaler Nation Junior Hockey. His experiences and commitment immediatly established Championship caliber teams at the Junior and youth levels that paved the way for athletic/scholastic opportunities for Hampton Roads players and became a destination for serious hockey players around the world. His experiences and leadership gave birth to the underpinnings of our philosophies today:
· To achieve greatness, we need to train with a purpose and respect for ourselves, our teamates, and the entire Whaler Nation community.
· We will expose our players to high level, experienced coaching who not only promote accelerated skill sets but foster sportsmanship, respect, and fellowship during our collective journey within the sport of hockey.
· To expect more from ourselves and always leave more for the next generation of players than we received when we entered the community.
Whalers Junior and Youth Hockey Program
Is the premier skills development program in USA Hockey. It is for male athletes ages 20 and under who seek a training and competition regimen similar to that of Professional athletes. Junior Hockey prepares athletes for advancement into College and Pro hockey ranks.
"The Junior Whalers was designed to provide our regions elite hockey players the means to earn athletic-scholastic opportunities and mentor our younger Whaler players. Our track record exceeds our original expectations as a result of the full commitment and effort from coaches, players, and our families support. Without question our on-ice success is a result of the quality of people who make up our hockey community" said Patrick Cavanagh.
Whalers youth travel hockey is the on ramp to the junior program. Whaler Nation director Brad Jones continues to integrate the highly successful Junior training process with the youth program. "We want to provide the kids with the kind of training and opportunity we believe they deserve, and conduct operations with similar expectations of a professional franchise," says Director Brad Jones.
World Class, Professional Coaching Guidance
Entering his 2nd year at Whaler Nation, Erik Blase continues intergrating his professional coaching methods with our program's coaches. "We're building a stronger organization. Stronger organizations produce better coaches, who in turn produce better players. I am committed to our coaching mentorship program to ensure our coaches positively lead our youth by improving their skill sets, their mental toughness, and their self-esteem to spur the kids on to greater heights in both hockey and life." stated coach Blase. Whaler Nation is proud to feature Erik Blase, coach of our EJHL South team and Brad Jones, former Captain of our original Whalers Championship Junior hockey team as full time leaders within our successful hockey pyramid.
Train Like the Pros
While our objectives are simple, to give our players a competitive edge to achieve their goals, our regimen is not. We've worked with NHL, AHL, collegiate, and Junior hockey coaching staffs to build a training program that is holistic in nature and targets not only the training of a hockey player, but the development of the total athlete. We break it down into two key components:
"On Ice Practice"; an essential element within the sport of hockey. We realize that high level achievement within the sport of hockey requires a significant amount of consistent time on the ice while maintaining lifestyle balance. Whaler Nation offers more ice time than most any program in the nation, however, not all are mandatory events. Each player and family commits to our mandatory and structured events but has a tremendous opportunity that is included in our dues to out skate and train the competition.
· Summer "Skills and Conditioning" : 5 days a week
· Practice 4-5 times a week during the season
· 45+ game season, We expect to compete for League Championships and National Tournament Championships each season at Whaler Nation.
· Summer "Whaler Nation Happy Hours": This is off season, non structured on ice opportunities for individual players to work on weak skill sets and creativity. It is available to all Whaler players during the summer, 5 days a week June 20, 2011-Aug. 19, 2011.
· One full-ice team concepts practice and one shared-ice skills practice per week during the season.
· 45+ game season including 2-4 tournaments
Bon Secours InMotion Off Ice Strength & Conditioning Program
Whaler Nation places great emphasis regarding off-ice stregth and conditioning. We offer all Whaler Nation players the use of our customized, exclusive Whaler strength and fitness center. We are now proud to introduce player specific and monitored strength, felxibility, and core training with Bon Secours professional staff. Each player will be tested at the beginning of the season and prepared with an age specific program that will be conducted by Bon Secours staff, one day per week, before on-ice practice throughout the entire season. All of this programming will take place on site at Whaler Nations home, Chilled Ponds.
Chilled Ponds- Home to Whaler Nation
Hampton Road's premier skating facility, Chilled Ponds Ice and Turf Sports Complex, is a 90,000 square-foot facility. It consists of a NHL size skating rink and an oversized (200'x100') Sportexe Turf Field, Bon Secours InMotion Sports Performance/Physical Therapy Center, and AJ Gators Sports Bar and Grill. Chilled Ponds is the ultimate regional sports destinationfor players of all ages, participating in all sporting activities.
· NHL Sized ice rink with seating/viewing for 2400 people provide all the ice time for Whaler Nation.
· AJ Gators Sports Bar and Grill with spacious lounge areas with multiple flat screen TV's for ultimate level of comfort and social enjoyment while spending time at Chilled Ponds.
· Bon Secours large InMotion Sports Training and Therapy facility with the industry's highest level of fitness equipment and medical resources.
· Whaler Nation Fitness Center with Olympic style free weights to add strength, increase flexability, improve agility, and gain speed while reducing the incidence of injury.
· Arena Sports Full Service Hockey Pro Shop featuring equipment from the best vendors in the business.
· Ridounkulax Full Service Lacrosse Pro Shop
· Pro Style locker rooms for the Junior teams