Summer Hockey Strategy

Coaches' Corner, Off-ice Training, Philosophy
How to Plan Your Summer Hockey Activities I am often asked what a player should do to make the most of his or her off season. This can be a tough question, because the answer usually varies from player to player. However, despite the many possible "correct answers," there are five main objectives that I think should be staples for any player looking to improve this summer––regardless of age or skill-level: Improve physical performance: The off-season is the time to develop your speed, strength, and size. During the summer months, this should be the primary focus for serious hockey players. Enormous gains can be made by consistently working out in a structured, hockey-specific, strength and conditioning program. Improve technical hockey skills (on-ice): Hockey players should take the time to develop…
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Motivate Players with Hockey Shooting Drills

Coaches' Corner, Philosophy
During the course of a practice, it is not uncommon for players to get uninterested and become detached, especially at younger ages while working on boring skills like technical skating. Adding Hockey Shooting Drills into the mix is a wonderful way to liven up your practice and keep your players motivated and up beat. High tempo shooting drills can also help spark some competition and mentally rejuvenate your players during longer practices. When working with Hockey Shooting Drills, I try to implement a few key points that help my players to get the most benefit possible: 1. Make sure your players keep their feet in motion while shooting, this is called shooting in stride. Many players slow down and glide just before shooting, not only does this affirm to the…
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How to effectively teach a new hockey skill

Coaches' Corner, Individual Skills, Philosophy, Skating
Coaching hockey can be a complicated endeavor. The required skill-set to be a good coach is much different than the skill-set to be a good player. Because of this difference, many people find it difficult to make the transition from player to coach. I often hear new coaches say "I know what my players should be doing, but I don't know how to get them to do it..." or "I don't know how to explain proper skating technique, I just know how to show it..." In these situations, I usually recommend that the coach try to break each skill down into three key points that he or she can verbalize. For example, if I were explaining proper forward skating technique, I would say that each player needs to (1) maintain…
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Level 5 Clinic – Day 3

Coaches' Corner, Philosophy
Just a quick report on today's sessions... Interesting day today at the Level 5 Clinic here in Minnesota. We heard from a bunch of pretty good hockey guys including Todd Richards (head coach of the Wild), Mike Sullivan (assistant coach of the Lightning), Mark Johnson (member of 1980 "Miracle" team and Head Coach of Wisconsin's women's team), Bryan Trottier (NHL Hall of Famer), and a panel of players from the 1980 American Miracle team. One of the things I found interesting was Mike Sullivan's take on defensive hockey (playing when the other team has the puck). He likes a very aggressive style when his team doesn't have the puck, and showed us a few examples of his 1-2-2 forecheck that looked almost identical to our 1-2-2 Fooseball Forecheck. So -…
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What I learned Today…

Coaches' Corner, Philosophy
Hey guys - sorry for such a long gap between posts! I've been really busy this summer running hockey camps, going to family reunions, and a bunch of other stuff... Anyways, right now I'm at the Level 5 Coaching Clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota. So far it's been a pretty good event - we've heard from a bunch of cool speakers. But the most interesting thing I heard today as about COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT... or in other words BRAIN TRAINING. There is a company called Applied Cognitive Engineering that has developed a product called IntelliGym that consists of a complex series algorithms that can be implemented into a video game that will train your brain to react quicker to the recurring patterns in athletics. They have already developed it for…
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