Recently, I Rex had a good chat with Colton Buckler, Instructor for Tucker Hockey and his Dad, Clint. Colton has been a valuable member of the Tucker Hockey team for the past 3 years. He has helped teach elite power skating, power skating and hockey skills and checking programs to various Minor Spring and Summer groups. Here is a summary of our conversation.
Colton, tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 16 years old and currently attending The Edge School for Athletes and am played on their Midget AA Gold team last season.  I have been playing hockey since I was four years old (Timbits).
What is your hockey playing background?
I have been playing hockey since the age of 4 and began taking 1 on 1 power skating and hockey skills lessons from Coach Rex at the of age 6. I played my first high intensity/high skill hockey in my second year of atom. In Peewee, I played on the Foothills Bisons then in Bantam I played on the Airdrie AA Lightning. I  just finished my first season playing with the Edge’s Midget AA Gold team.
What is your hockey instruction background?
I was first asked to begin helping Coach Rex at the age of 12. Since then I have begun working part – time for Tucker Hockey and instructing at power skating , checking and shooting camps and hope to continue on with instructing in the years ahead.
Colton, how has hockey influenced your life?
It has influenced me to be a hard-working team player and to be positive. Along with that I have learned to accept losing but also how to indulge in a good win!!.  (Said with a chuckle)
When and how did you initially get involved with Tucker Hockey?
I began taking power skating lessons with Coach Rex at the age of 6 and from then till now he has been continuously working with me on the fundamentals of my game     power skating, passing, puck control, shooting and checking as well as offensive and defensive individual and game tactics usually during the minor hockey season. Probably I have done close to 100 sessions over the years plus in the Summer time I attended some of his elite power skating and checking group programs.
What, if anything, has instructing with Tucker Hockey taught you?
It has taught me patience, the importance of hearing various points of view and that there is always room to improve and learn more. Skating is the most important skill in hockey and a player can always keep working on taking his or her skating skills to the next level.
Colton, what is the most enjoyable part of instructing for you?
The part I find most enjoyable is the aura and experiences I witness when talking, skating and working with younger hockey players. It feels good to help out other players on the ice.
What challenges or difficulties have you experienced while being an on ice instructor?
Being at the age of 16 , the challenge I have experienced was trying to pass on my hockey knowledge to children and on some occasions, teenagers. Most kids my age don’t have as much contact with children as I do and I have found it quite hard to change back and forth from being in a coaching/teaching position to a player position.
Colton, what advice would you like to offer hockey coaches, parents and players about the importance of skating, and why they should invest the time and money towards quality skating instruction?
 Skating is the foundation of hockey. Once a player begins playing at higher hockey levels skating begins to become more and more important… because other players begin becoming stronger at skating… and you have to be able to keep up… so you have to continue to improve on your skills and enjoy the game.  It sure gets more competitive the higher you advance in the hockey system.
What other things interest you, outside of hockey?
Recently I have become interested in free running. I find the idea of overcoming on foot obstacles… by using the natural flow of your body… while still maintaining speed and doing it with style… to be quite enjoyable.
Colton, what are your hockey playing and instruction goals for the future?
My future goals are to continue in hockey and play in the NCAA so that I may go to university. During the summer and for a job when I am not playing hockey I would like to continue instructing so that as well as passing on knowledge I can still improve on the aspects of teaching and taking on a leadership role.
Rex’s Note:
Having spent many hours on the ice with hockey player and instructor Colton, it’s almost like working with your son! I have seen him mature and grow up over the years. The following personal traits come to mind about Colton. He is a very polite, conscious, and hard-working young man. He works quite well with the younger players. Since Colton has participated in numerous Tucker Hockey 1 on1 coaching and group programs, he is very knowledgeable about the Tucker Hockey – on ice philosophy, curriculums, practice plans, drills and many of the teaching points. He is quite skilled at demo’ing the power skating drills! Colton, my friend, I have valued your contributions to Tucker Hockey…much appreciated! Look forward to many fun times on the ice in the years ahead. Wishing you a great season this year at the Edge School on and off the ice!!