Li wrote:  My son’s friend took a private skating lesson from John and shouted to my son afterwards: “Kevin, you should try this. This is awesome!”. Since then my son has been taking lessons from John. It is awesome indeed. My son looks forward to the lessons every week. I can clearly see his improvement. Thank you so much, John!

Jennifer wrote:  John has helped our son learn a lot about skating and hockey. His passion for the sport, patience and positive attitude enable him to work with others on their level, show them how to improve their skills and grow as a hockey player. We have been amazed at the progress our son has made in just a few months. Thanks John for all your time and energy!

 Myra wrote: I cannot say enough great things about Coach John.  Our son has been skating and learning hockey from him for the past 2 years.  Through the work with Coach John, his skills have vastly improved.  He had struggled with learning crossovers.  With Coach John’s help, he was able to master forward and backwards crossovers within 4 lessons.  Before that, he had worked on them for over 2 months!  Coach John supports and encourages his passion for playing hockey.  He cares about the children and their success both on and off the ice.  Our family loves Coach John and cannot thank him enough for what he has done with our son, who absolutely loves Coach John.  If you are looking for a coach to help your child skate and/or play hockey-look no further!!!

Ben wrote: My 6-yr old has been taking weekly lessons with John for the past 3 months.   The changes in my son’s skating has been tremendous.  John has helped with speed and control while keeping the lessons fun and exciting.  My son looks forward to his ice time with John.  I would highly recommend lessons for everyone who wants to get better and enjoy skating.

Dick wrote: John does a great job with my son Eli, he is professional, interactive and pushes him when need be. Thanks for helping Eli become a better skater!

Caitlin wrote: My son always looks forward to his lessons with John. John makes the lessons fun yet instructional for younger players. He does a great job of breaking down the skills  into basic steps for beginning players. I always see an improvement by the end of each lesson.

Eric wrote: Thank you for the coaching you have provided for my son (Mason).  Having only taken 2 lessons with you so far, Mason has already improved tremendously (and so have I from standing back and observing).  Your attention to detail and your patience when working with kids is fantastic.  I like that you don’t give up on a certain goal just because the student doesn’t master it right away.  Your approach to finding different ways to work through it and taking the student out of his/her comfort zone is invaluable.  I also like that you make it fun and entertaining even though it’s hard work.  I would certainly recommend you to anyone wanting to improve any part of their skating skills.  We will definitely continue to train with you whenever we can coordinate our busy schedules.

Jesse wrote: John is a phenomenal coach.  He combines his own impressive skills as a hockey player with  an equally impressive ability to transfer those skills to kids. He  quickly assesses your child’s skating ability  and level of play, and then begins building on strengths’ and shoring up weaknesses. Regardless of your child’s skillset, John will tailor his instruction for instant and sustained improvement. John will also push and challenge your kid to the limit of his/her ability to grow and improve.

My son was an average U10 player before working with John. Over the course of just  8 private sessions during the 2016/2017 fall season, John transformed my son into one of the better players in his league. After working with John, my son began moving the puck more aggressively, protecting it on the outside of turns while leaning into defenders and then blowing past them. His turns and stops were crisper, accelerations were quicker, and his dekes were more effective. His confidence skyrocketed and he scored more goals (4 in one game, 5 in another).

Exceptional coach!  


  1. Our son has been in the learn to skate/play clinics for close to 2.5 years, while he advanced, it was a slow process and he was anxious to get into the house league and play games. We decided to have John coach him privately and within the first 30 minutes I could see a difference. Over the next 8 weeks, he went from being able to get around the ice to power turns, cross overs, fast stops and starts. Thank you John for the direct attention Cooper needed and making it fun for him to be on the ice working on his skills.

  2. John has coached / taught our son Kyle for the last two years and it has been an excellent experience. Our son’s progress in becoming a better skater, hockey player, and teammate has tremendously improved. Most importantly to me is John’s teaching style encompasses a positive approach that make it fun and at the same time rewarding. Our son loves and looks forward to a lesson with Coach John!

  3. John started working with our 7 y/o son last April (2016) while he was attending Camp Chillin’ in Cary. In a short few weeks, our son went from just being stable on his skates to doing crossovers and transitions. A few months later, John had him more than prepared for the Fall hockey season. John has a way of keeping kids focused and disciplined during sessions, all while making it fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching John work with our son and others, whether in a private lessons, one of his clinics, power skating, etc. Our youngest son cannot wait to have him as his coach also. Thank you John for all that you have done and continue to do for our family and the entire hockey community.

  4. John is a truly fabulous coach. I cannot say enough good things about him. He pushes the students to do their best but is supportive at the same time. In just a few lessons I saw a huge change in my 12 year olds skating. Book a lesson with John. You won’t regret it.

  5. Our son Liam has been taking lessons with John for about a year and a half. His skill level, confidence and over all love for the game improves every time he’s out there with Coach. John is great with the kids,reliable and knowledgeable. We are so grateful for all he’s done for Liam and will stay with him as long as he’ll have us!

  6. Most of the reviews here are parents talking about lessons for their kids. I thought I would add my review from an older students perspective. I’m 51 and learning to skate. Needless to say I present a unique challenge for John since I am older but John is very patient and knows how to work to get the most out of my ice time. I don’t think I have been to a lesson yet where I didn’t go home tired and sore. I had previously taken lessons from another instructor and could not grasp backwards crossovers. John’s approach to crossover both forwards and backwards is simple enough for anyone to grasp. He knows how to make all lessons age and skill appropriate. I still have a ways to go (my limitations not his) but I hope to able to play rec league hockey to have some fun. John laughs during most of my sessions and the kids that are on the ice during my lessons obviously have a lot of respect for John. I would recommend John as an instructor no matter what your age. You will learn to be a better skater/hockey player and have fun doing it.

  7. John is an amazing, one-of-a kind coach! No matter what skill level, John tailors each lesson to fit the student and what they need or want to work on…all while making the lessons extremely fun. John is encouraging, and pushes students, so that they see quick results. He has vastly improved many of the skating and hockey programs at the Polar Ice Houses; these were amazingly quick and necessary transformations in the programs that existed before he arrived. Coach John also created the annual Winterfest Classic, which is a fantastic event that allows young skaters to experience hockey on the outdoor rink in downtown Raleigh. His organizational skills, professionalism and engaging personality make him a favorite coach to all. You won’t regret signing up for a individual or group lesson with Coach John!

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