Hockey Dads use technology to improve stickhandling

Stanley Cup Champion Sidney Crosby put Nova Scotia back on the map in the hockey world and hockey Dad and Coach Dean Dachyshyn intends to keep it there. Metro News tells the story of Dachyshyn and three fellow hockey Dads who have come up with a unique product called QuickStickz that uses video game technology to help hockey-loving kids improve their stickhandling skills.

A couple of years ago, hockey dad and coach Dean Dachyshyn started to notice a somewhat disturbing trend.

“I realized one of the biggest weaknesses kids have is stickhandling,” said Dachyshyn, a former pro hockey player with the Nova Scotia Oilers who now coaches his 11-year-old son on the peewee AAA Halifax Hawks.

“After practice, the hockey stick goes in the trunk of the car and doesn’t come out until the next game.”

Dachyshyn wasn’t the only one. Steve Hankinson and fellow Hawks hockey dads Tim Burke and Paul Behner also took note. Today, they’re the team behind Bedford’s Skillz Systems, a company hoping to foster a generation of stickhandling wizards.

Over the past few years, Skillz Systems has developed QuickStickz that uses video game technology to help kids get their sticks out of the trunk. QuickStickz comes with a special ball and infrared camera – all you need is your stick and some open floor space and away you go.

The camera system tracks a special ball and the hockey stick controls the action – the key being that you have to look at your computer screen instead of looking down. Genius.