Total Package Hockey is pleased to announce expansion into the Heartland of America, as it will launch its ninth Center of Excellence inside the recently opened Centene Community Ice Center in Maryland Heights, MO, a suburb of St. Louis. The Centene Community Ice Center is an $83M facility that is home to many organizations including the NHL’s St. Louis Blues.
“We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to not only bring our Center of Excellence academy model to St. Louis, but to have the opportunity to be part of a facility that will do so much good for the growth of both hockey and entertainment in the St. Louis area,” TPH Chief Executive Officer Nathan Bowen said. “The Centene Community Ice Center is far from just a hockey venue. The opportunities and amenities the facility will offer families in the St. Louis area is exciting to say the least. TPH is very pleased to be able to add the CoE to the list of services provided by the facility. Today’s announcement completes a project we in TPH have been working on for over a year. I want to thank Patrick Quinn, Chairman of the St. Louis Legacy Ice Foundation for his hard work, persistence and friendship. We would not be making this announcement today if it wasn’t for Patrick.”
Patrick Quinn, a native St. Louisan with deep roots the game locally as a player, parent, coach and club founder echoed Bowen’s sentiments.
“We are delighted to welcome TPH to the Centene Community Ice Center,” he said. “From the onset, I have been nothing but impressed by Nathan Bowen, the TPH brand and the Center of Excellence model. The CoE offers a unique hockey training experience, combined with an academic and life-learning experience that will benefit players across the Heartland and provide them a chance to live at home as they pursue their hockey ambitions. St. Louis just improved its ability to develop hockey players, students and future leaders with this announcement today.”
For Quinn, it is important that the St. Louis market understand what the Center of Excellence model is, and also, what it is not.
“The most important aspect of the CoE model is that it isn’t restricted to student-athletes who live in certain zip codes or play on certain teams,” Quinn said. “The Center of Excellence is open to 6th through 12th grade girls and boys who have the character, work habits and desire to maximize their potential on and off the ice. The CoE operates during traditional school hours so that the student-athletes can make it to their club team’s events in the evening. Players from CarShield, the ‘AAA’ Blues, Kirkwood, Chesterfield, St. Peters, Rockets or any other local club are welcome at the CoE. The CoE is for the right hockey players from metro-St. Louis and across the Heartland, as the Centene Community Ice Center was built to grow the game here in the Heartland. My hope is that boys and girls from outside St. Louis, be they from Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas or Nebraska, will also see the CoE as a place to achieve their goals and still be close to home.”
The 277,000 square foot Centene facility opened its doors in September and features four NHL-sized ice surfaces, including a covered outdoor rink that will also be used to present concerts, community events and children’s programming. TPH will join the St. Louis ‘AAA’ Blues, St. Louis Lady Cyclones, Lindenwood University, the St. Louis Blues Alumni and the NHL Blues as the primary tenants in the facility. Additionally, the facility is home to the 3,000 square foot artificial ice surface Bauer Team Training Center along with the over 9,000 square foot Mercy Sports Performance Center Powered By EXOS. The Center of Excellence academic space will actually border the NHL’s Blues training facility and provide endless possibilities for TPH to achieve its goal of individualizing and customizing the learning experience for all student-athletes.
“The CoE classroom we are designing at Centene will provide student-athletes with a physical environment that matches the type of culture we look to foster in the classroom,” Bowen said. “Our space will allow our Director of Academics to create four different learning environments so that each individual student-athlete is studying in a physical space that he or she learns best in. Whether it be traditional seating, a private learning space, high top tables or comfortable lounge-style seating, our student-athletes will experience the customization that we in TPH pride ourselves on.”
The classroom “culture” Bowen referred to centers around TPH’s unique academic learning platform provided by Edmentum. The TPH-Edmentum platform is designed to meet the demands of the aspiring elite male and female hockey player who desires structure, discipline and accountability, but requires the flexibility to pursue his or her hockey and career goals without the fear of missing school. The “blended learning environment” shaped by TPH includes academics on demand, with 24/7, fully accessible NCAA courseware and full-time instructors who are dedicated to the student-athletes across all nine Centers of Excellence. Courses are available live as well as on-demand, with accessible instructors who hold virtual office hours. CoE attendees also have access to a virtual tutoring service, in the event academic assistance is needed after-hours or right on the spot during the CoE school day.
While Bowen enjoys telling the “story” of academics at the Center of Excellence, he is the first to admit that data points that support the message are what families care about most.
“Over the three years TPH and Edmentum have been partnered, we are proud to say that 67% of our student-athletes are maintaining a 3.7-4.0 GPA. In addition, 90% of our student-athletes are maintaining an A or B average, and last year, on average, students across our CoE’s placed above the national average on both the SAT and ACT. We are proud of these numbers, especially when you consider that online courseware is often more rigorous and robust than that of traditional school.”
Just as the academics at the Center of Excellence are individualized, customized and proven, so too is the hockey training. TPH’s Hockey Development model is built on 7 pillars, starting with character traits, athletic qualities and hockey qualities and then expanding to foundational skills, blended skills, and habits, concepts and details central to success on the ice. CoE attendees train off the ice 4-5 days per week and participate in on-ice training sessions 4 days per week, where emphasis is placed on the skills, habits, concepts and details that often get neglected at the club level, where, as Bowen says, the emphasis is more on team play versus the “individual parts that make up the whole.”
“Our Hockey-Athlete training model is designed to provide instruction and reps on the fundamentals that make a hockey player successful,” Bowen said. “Once the individual learns the A-B-C’s behind the foundational skills we teach, they are put in drill situations that maximize the use of hockey sense, while utilizing obstacles and people that force awareness, just like in the game. Our training blueprint isolates the parts that make up the whole, and most importantly, is built on skills, habits, concepts and details that are relevant and transferrable once the puck drops.”
While Bowen and TPH get excited any time it launches its Study, Train, Play model, the CEO admits there is a bit more enthusiasm with this announcement, pointing to three factors: timing, quality and reputation of the market.
“St. Louis has been an established hockey market for decades and the success of the NHL Blues has certainly added to that,” Bowen added. “Most people within hockey circles are well-aware of the number of current and future NHL players who have honed their skills in St. Louis, including an unprecedented 5 first-round NHL Draft picks in 2016. Simply put, we are grateful to be a part of the ever-growing St. Louis boys and girls hockey landscape and are very fortunate to be able to execute the TPH vision of positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through the game of hockey in a facility that will push us to turn our vision into a reality on a daily basis.”
Hockey families from across both St. Louis and the Heartland are invited to attend our first open house, presented virtually via Zoom, on Monday, February 3 at 7:00 PM CST. A link to RSVP is included below.
- Click here to RSVP for our upcoming virtual open house on Monday, February 3 at 7:00 PM CST.
- Click here to download our Center of Excellence brochure.
- Click here to request more information on TPH-St. Louis and the Study, Train, Play
About St. Louis Legacy Ice Foundation
The St. Louis Legacy Ice Foundation was founded to provide the St. Louis region – with an emphasis on youth – with the opportunity to develop their skills in ice sports in setting that foster personal growth and excellence. The Centene Community Ice Center is our “flagship” facility ensures that our region will attract major ice sport events and tournaments, contributing to economic development and job creation, with the resulting effect of strengthening ice sports across our region. In these and related endeavors, we champion the value inherent in ice sports: commitment, good sportsmanship, teamwork, personal integrity, and respect for others and self. Visit us at www.legacyice.org and www.centenecommunityicecenter.com.
For more information on the St. Louis Legacy Ice Foundation, contact Patrick Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (314) 619-9929.