"Attitude is Everything" -- it's the Kilbourne family motto.
Over the 40 hours of VMHC's Precision Skills Camp last week, BJ and Gretchen Kilbourne, both Colorado Thunderbirds AAA coaches and both former elite-level players, put that motto into action and left a memorable impact, on the ice and off, on the scores of players in attendance. BJ and Gretchen were joined on ice by former DU standout goaltender and longtime Thunderbirds and Cherry Creek HS coach Buddy Blom, as well as Vail Yeti forward Brent Sands, fresh off his Mountain West Hockey League Championship season. The camp was led by VMHC Director Zach Blom.
"Attitude really is everything, in hockey and in life," echoed Zach Blom. "I can imagine no finer examples for our young men and women to follow than that of Gretchen and BJ. Their positive energy, enthusiasm for life and learning, and passion for the game were absolutely electric, and that kind of leadership sent a strong message to our young people."
During the three hours of daily ice, campers started morning sessions with the basics of skating and puck skills on Monday and progressed to advanced movements, skills, and tactics by Friday, keeping the focus on a strong foundation. That foundation was implemented into fun, competitive game situations in afternoon sessions. Off-ice hours were filled with fun, intense Drylands (featuring both hockey-specific and cross-training workouts and hikes), as well as Leadership Building and Video breakdown sessions.
"Rule number one is Fun, which is a critical point of orientation, around which we can learn to develop the best attitude possible in each moment, whatever the challenge," added Blom. "I'm incredibly proud of our campers, especially the huge number of Mountaineers who participated, for being willing to show up, examine, and trade out their old set of ideas and habits for a better set. That is a critical part of growing their game and growing up."
A very big 'Thank You!' to all of the volunteers, sponsors, and Board of Directors members for making Precision Skills Camp a smashing success. A special Shout Out to Antlers at Vail and Avon Bakery & Deli for taking such great care of our coaches and Pazzos Pizza for the great pizza party for the skaters.
And of course, Thank You to BJ, Gretchen, Brent, and Buddy for sharing your attitude of awesomeness with our VMHC Family!