Hockey Plus Minus App for iPad



This Hockey Plus Minus App for iPad is a Fast and Easy Way to Track Plus Minus During Games!

Anybody who follows my blog knows I’m a huge believer in using technology to enhance hockey coaching. I recently came across an iPad app that I’m really excited about… it’s called Hockey Plus Minus.

If you check out the app store, you’ll see there are a number of hockey stat apps that have begun cropping up, some are really complex with the ability to track tons of different stuff, some are extremely simple, and only track a few things. With all the different options out there, I figured I’d take the chance to throw in my 2 cents worth on the subject.

Here are three questions you should ask yourself before picking a mobile stat tracker:

What do you want to track?

You can get REALLY in depth with your stat tracking, or you can stay pretty basic. Higher level teams need a lot more depth in their tracking (hits, faceoffs won, shots on goal and shot locations, etc.), younger teams don’t need to dedicate as much time and effort into stat tracking––in my opinion.

What is already being tracked?

Obviously, an app that tracks goals and assists will be redundant, since that’s already being tracked on the game sheet. Some leagues require the score keepers to track shots on goal as well. I don’t care about wasting time and effort tracking things that are already being tracked.

Who will be tracking the stats?

If you, as the coach, are planning on tracking the stats yourself from the bench, you’ll need an interface that is clean and simple, that requires little time to input each event. This is the main reason I love this Hockey Plus Minus app. The interface is simple, and I can enter in the info quickly, with minimal effort.

Conclusion:

As a coach, Plus Minus is the main stat I prefer to keep control of. The real strength of Plus Minus is what it shows over the course of a season, so if it is inconsistently tracked, its useless and might as well not be tracked at all. This app makes it really easy to track it consistently.

There are a few suggestions I’d make to the developers of this app as they roll new versions out:

  1. add the ability to view, select, and edit by individual goal (if you made a mistake and need to change it)
  2. add the ability to see the score
  3. add the ability to export a report into an excel doc

Hope this app comes in handy for you,

Cheers!

Jeremy

Breakouts: Color-coded Breakout System




Color-coded Breakout System and Options

As we discussed in our video on Hockey Systems for Youngsters, structured systems CAN be taught to young hockey players, and a color-coded breakout system is one way of doing this.

Young hockey players are often more advanced physically than mentally. Because of this, players at higher levels of play can typically execute the basic patterns of a breakout (i.e. skate the puck behind the net and pass to a winger on the boards) long before they can read which option to select in a given situation.

Color-coding a breakout system allows the “read” portion of “read and react” to be passed along to the coach, who can call the plays from the bench using the color code. Well-trained players will hear the call, and react accordingly.

As players get older, they are taught to read the plays for themselves.

CLICK HERE to watch our video on “Initiating a Hockey Breakout”

Enjoy!

Philosophy: When to Start Teaching Hockey Systems?




How early can youngsters be taught to play “systems hockey”?

Many people have varying opinions on the correct answer to this question… and, as is often the case with philosophical hockey questions, there is more than one correct answer. The answer depends on the physical skills of your players, the mental maturity of your players, and the manner in which the systems are taught and implemented. In this video, I discuss my own personal opinions on the matter, and why I believe what I believe.

When I was 8 years old, my dad had this idea of taking the top-caliber kids from around the city, and keeping essentially the same kids together for 5 years. The end goal of his vision was to win an Ontario Championship at the “AAA” level.

As 8-year-olds, we were taught to play systems hockey based on a “color-coded” breakout set-up. Our individual skills were advanced enough that we were able to complete the patterns of a structured breakout system, even though we weren’t quite ready to read the play ourselves. So, my dad gave each breakout option a color, and he would read the pressure and call out the play from the bench. We would hear it, and react accordingly. As we got older, we were taught to read the play for ourselves and make our own decisions.

This color-coded breakout system allowed us to learn “systems hockey” years before other teams in our league. I mention a few of our team’s successes in the video.

WARNING: Do not let systems and positional development rob individual skill development. They can both be developed simultaneously if practices are structured correctly.

ENJOY!