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CoE Grand Rapids



Center of Excellence: Study, Train, Play!

The Total Package Hockey Center of Excellence is a focused environment where dedicated student-athletes study, train and play to their fullest potential.  Our environment combines proven, accredited online learning with hands-on, innovative on and off-ice training and instruction.  With a focus on choices, character and culture, we believe in a holistic approach, and recognize that our greatest responsibility is to prepare our student-athletes for success in the ultimate game: the game of life.


Continue scrolling to:

  • Apply to the Center of Excellence.  
  • Learn about the various components of the Center of Excellence, including academics, on and off-ice training, leadership and personal development.  
  • Meet the hockey, academic and operations staff for the COE.


Applying to the Center of Excellence

Click here to apply to the Center of Excellence, which is step one in the formal registration process.  Once your registration is accepted, you'll receive an e-mail with formal instructions.  


Study to Your Potential

... Academics at the COE ...


CoE Academics Overview

Well-rounded, resilient, self-starting… This is the type of student our academic culture looks to produce.  This process occurs in a selective learning environment, whereby student-athletes interact with other driven, likeminded individuals who seek the flexibility of balancing academics with hockey, 


In addition to offering flexibility, the CoE learning environment provides:


  • Disciplined, Daily Structure...  Students maintain a disciplined, daily structure at the CoE.  While actual schedules vary by location, a typical CoE day strikes an appropriate balance between studying, training and playing...  Like a traditional classroom, all CoE’s implement policies to ensure students are accountable and perform academically.  
  • Individualized and Customized Learning Plans...  While the CoE prides itself on allowing each family to choose a learning provider that meets the needs of their student-athlete, TPH is proud to offer a customized learning platform, built specifically for the CoE, through Edmentum, the official learning partner of Total Package Hockey.  Edmentum's courseware is rigorous, robust and most importantly, NCAA accredited.  Within the confines of Edmentum's curriculum, our academic team prides itself on our ability to craft individual education plans for each-student athlete.  
  • Applicable and Far-Reaching Experiences...  Skills such as the ability to time manage and learn in different settings are taught at the CoE, all in an effort to prepare our student-athletes for an independent lifestyle.  Real-world experiences such as field trips, community service projects, guest speakers and TPH’s weekly Life Skills & Leadership Seminars take learning beyond the classroom.  Mentoring future leaders who understand what it means to do the right thing on and off the ice is central to positively impacting the lives of our student-athletes.    


Edmentum proudly partners with over 8,000 schools in the US.

The Edmentum Platform

... Creating a Truly Customized Learning Environment for the CoE ...


Edmentum is the official learning partner of Total Package Hockey and offers a completely customized platform for CoE students, whereby individuals study online, via teacher-delivered live lessons, mostly within a cohort of TPH students. This format universalizes learning across all CoE's, and creates a bond within our truly selective learning environment. 


Simply put, students taking an Edmentum course in a particular subject area at one CoE, are taught by the same teacher in that subject area at other CoE's, and interact with CoE students outside of their specific location.        


TPH provides on-site Success Coaches, who monitor academic performance, while providing knowledge of specific content areas as well as the Edmentum courseware.  Students have access to a full-time bank of teachers, hired specifically for the CoE, who maintain "virtual office hours" to ensure accessibility. 


Edmentum provides a large variety of NCAA accredited courses for students to choose from, with courses meeting state academic standards.


And on top of this, in most cases, Edmentum will partner with a local area public school, to provide its student-athletes some of the benefits of traditional brick and mortar students, such as:


  • Participation on school athletic teams.  
  • Invitations to after-school activities.
  • Diploma from the actual brick and mortar school upon graduating.    

To learn more about the Edmentum platform, click on the video below.


Train and Play to Your Potential

... Hockey at the COE ...


The Hockey Player... The Hockey Athlete!

To be successful in today’s game, we believe a hockey player must possess three qualities:


  1. High compete level, which is the foundation for success in hockey and life.
  2. High level of hockey sense.
  3. High caliber overall skill set, in the form of skating, shooting and stick skills. 

At the same time, improve a player’s strength, speed and overall athleticism, and now you have an elite hockey athlete, which is the goal when training and playing at the CoE.  


Training and Playing at the CoE: The Process

Athletes spend a minimum of two hours per day, four days per week, training both on and off the ice, within TPH’s framework for The Hockey Athlete.


On the ice, emphasis is placed on quality repetitions, performed:


  • In-part, as well as combined as a whole.
  • Individually, as well as within a group. 
  • In no pressure, light pressure and full pressure situations.

Quality repetitions remain the focus off the ice, as athletes train to develop:


  • The strength of a football player and the explosive quickness of a track runner. 
  • The balance, stability, agility and range of motion that comprises overall athleticism. 
  • Durability to avoid injury and withstand the demands of a long season. 
  • Endurance necessary to compete for the long haul.  

Daily training themes, positive, hands-on coaching, innovative training methods and video analysis are utilized to accelerate the development process of The Hockey Athlete, and prepare each individual for advancement to the highest levels of junior, collegiate and professional hockey.      

Center of Excellence Staff


Travis Richards

Partner / Co-Owner of Southside Ice Arena

TPH Center of Excellence, Grand Rapids


  • 1993 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he played 4 seasons for the Golden Gophers hockey team.  
  • Selected #169 overall by his hometown Minnesota North Stars in the 1988 NHL draft.  
  • Played 12 seasons of professional hockey, including 10 with the Grand Rapids Griffins, where his number 24 is retired.  
  • Holds the record for most games played by a Griffin at 655.
  • Currently coaches U16 'AAA' for the Fox Motors program.  
  • Resides in Grand Rapids with his wife and children.  


Mike Slobodnik

Partner / Co-Owner of Southside Ice Arena

TPH Center of Excellence, Grand Rapids


  • Brings 20 years of youth, high school and junior playing experience to TPH, and has also coached at five USA Hockey National camps.
  • Currently coaches Pee Wee Major 'AAA' for Fox Motors and is also the Head Coach of Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School.  
  • Played NCAA Division III hockey at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  
  • Proud Grand Rapids native who resides in the area with his wife and children.

Center of Excellence Location

The Grand Rapids Center of Excellence is located at:


Southside Ice Arena

566 100th Street SW

Byron Center, MI  49315


(c) 2011-2019, Innovative V LLC dba Total Package Hockey and TPH, All Rights Reserved.