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Coaches’ Corner
10 Good Tips for YOUTH HOCKEY
1. Practices are more important than games
- Skating, standing on the correct leg when shooting and having the right
techniques at high speed are the prerequisites for being a good hockey player.
- More important than games!
2. Practice cross-ice
- Practicing in small areas develops skills and avoids players standing in line.
3. Allow youth to train themselves as much as possible
- Spontaneous training is important. Encourage street hockey in parking lots and
driveways when ice is unavailable or floor hockey in all variations.
4. Hockey should be fun
- Skip tactics and systems, let the youth go after the puck. Everyone wants to
handle the puck – no one goes to practice and games to play defensively all the
time.
5. Parents support and encourage
- Parents should never place pressure on their child. Remember that 1 of 5 youth
experience their parent’s meddling in their sports as negative. Provide
transportation, fix equipment, console, be there – yes, by all means!
6. Games are not a matter of life and death
- Games should be fun. A change of pace from practice days. Not anything
deathly important. Pour it on offensively – youth are creative and like to try
things. Let them play to success.
7. Don’t play just your best players and no tactical systems
- Play without tactics and systems. Let youth use their own creativity and develop
under their own conditions. Let them be where the puck is – for they have come
to play the puck!
8. Show respect!
- Ice hockey means fair play! Show respect for the rules, referees, opponents and
coaches. Play fair! No game is won from the penalty box.
9. Try all positions
- Let everyone try all positions on the team. Don’t lock players into defense,
center or forward already from the beginning. Rotate around in fives – an elite
player can play anywhere!
10. Exchange instead of buying!
- If one is going to follow the market hysteria it will be expensive to try hockey.
Organize instead within your association an exchange day or rent equipment for
the season.
Then everyone can play hockey!