Industry Insights


Center Of Excellence Primed To Revolutionize Youth Sports

By LeagueApps
June 14, 2019
3 min

Youth sports are evolving at a rapid pace. The industry’s growth in terms of size, scope, and impact is striking. Close to 50 million kids participate in organized youth sports, and their participation generates upwards of $20 billion in economic activity. This has raised the stakes for youth sports organizers to provide a professional experience for players and parents.

Integrating educational technology into the youth sports experience is one way that organizers are differentiating themselves in an increasingly competitive market. To understand this exciting new development in the youth landscape, we sat down with Francis Anzalone, the COO of Total Package Hockey (TPH).

TPH was founded in 2001 with ambitions to one day be considered the world leader in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through the game of hockey. To achieve this, they set out to impact student-athletes in three ways. Their gameplan places an emphasis on academics, mentorship, and athletics. The athletic component, in addition to games, includes elite prospects programs, tournaments, showcases, camps, and clinics. On the ice, TPH is nearly unrivaled. But it’s their innovation off the ice that is turning heads.

“Sports are what bring people through the front door and gets them intrigued in your model,” said Anzalone. These young people want to become better hockey players. That ‘improvement’ element is what drives the initial interest. But our ability to impact a person and impact the student is what we believe pushes them out the back door ready to attack the ultimate game, and that’s the game of life,” continued Anzalone.

The Total Package Hockey Center of Excellence (CoE) is a focused environment where dedicated student-athletes study, train and play. The environment combines proven, accredited online learning with on and off-ice training and instruction.

“We’re trying to be innovators, but at its core, we want to deliver a quality academic experience that will allow each individual to attend the university of their dreams whether the sport takes them there or not. In the end, we want to produce independent, self-starting college freshmen,” noted Anzalone.

By this fall, TPH will be operating seven Centers of Excellence spanning the country from Colorado to Georgia. The CoE learning environment is in full compliance with state requirements and is operated by Edmentum, an e-learning platform that has customized every element of the CoE experience. Here are just a few pillars of the Edmentum’s customized CoE curriculum:

Disciplined, Daily Structure

Each location strives for a perfect balance between hockey-related activities and the student-athletes course-load. Just like a traditional classroom, all CoE’s implement policies to ensure students are accountable and perform academically.

Individualized and Customized Learning Plans

Edmentum’s courseware is rigorous, robust and most importantly, NCAA accredited. Within the confines of the curriculum, the academic team prides itself on its ability to craft individual education plans for each student-athlete.

Applicable and Far-Reaching Experiences

Skills such as time management and the ability to learn in different settings are taught at the CoE, all in an effort to prepare 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.

To learn more about TPH and how it’s been able to holistically develop its student-athletes, click here.