Minnesota Hockey puts out a great newsletter every month with lots of great resources. In the most recent article, they put out a brief article on Coaching to Develop Players, and the importance of stressing fundamentals. I wanted to share the link with everyone:
Minnesota Hockey’s “Coaching to Develop Players” (PDF)
Let me know what you think about this article by leaving a comment below.
Killing off a penalty can be one of the most critical turning points of a game. Your team finally ices the puck, and you get a fresh set of legs on the ice to go pressure the opposing team while they’re setting up their breakout….now what? If you’re dealing with older players, it is important your players know their responsibilities and the lanes they’re defending.
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Over-speed training is a buzz term often associated having “quick feet” during a drill. Simply put, over-speed training involves the execution of a skill at a higher tempo than the player is comfortable with. Most players go on the ice and “practice” their skills at a pace they’re comfortable with – this “comfort zone” is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to developing as an athlete and player. By staying within the player’s comfort zone, there is a much slower progression of skills. Over-speed training is a critical component of proper training, but must be used appropriately. Properly phased over-speed training should look something like the following:
1) Learn the basics of the skill you’re performing: become proficient (technically) in the skill you’re working on. This is the part where you spend hours honing your craft. Don’t overlook this phase, because poor techniques at the beginning will lead to poor techniques long-term. Develop good habits, and practice the fundamentals.
2) Perform the skill at a pace outside your comfort zone: increase the tempo of your performance without a puck. Begin executing the drills at a pace where you’re outside your comfort zone. Falling in this phase is OK – players must understand falling is part of their progression in this phase. By spending a lot of time training at the increased tempo, players will eventually learn to control the bodies and skates to they’re able to execute the skill naturally at a higher pace.
3) Perform the skill with a puck at your new level: adding the puck adds in additional challenges. As players begin to become comfortable performing the techniques, adding the puck will force them to adjust other aspects of their skill to adapt to the new pace. Emphasize to players it is OK to lose the puck or fall in this phase.
By consistently forcing players outside their comfort zone, their speed and level of play will continue to climb. I would recommend making over-speed training part of every practice – you will be amazed at how much it will help your players improve!
Another exciting NHL season has come to a close – this year with one of the original six teams bringing home the Stanley Cup. Although the finish was a bit strange, it’s safe to say it was an exciting final game. In this week’s Learn from the Pros segment, we’ll take a look at the last two goals of the 2009-10 NHL season.
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Sometimes some of the best content on the web is hard to dig up. While looking for some off-ice stickhandling drills, I came across a 20-part video series offered free online by USA Hockey. This series is part of their National Team Development Program training. The videos do a nice job of explaining the drills and showing the execution. The videos can be found at the following link:
The neutral zone is often an over-looked zone by many hockey coaches. It’s easy to focus on scoring goals or improving team defense. I’ve put together a few of my favorite drills to work on neutral zone regrouping. Hopefully some of you find the drills useful.
As always, modify the drills to suit the age/talent level you’re working with. Be sure players understand the fundamentals of your regroup system so you can have them execute the drills using your system.
If you have modifications or other neutral zone regroup drills you’d like to share – email them over to me at kevin [at] hockeyshare [dot] com
Download Neutral Zone Regroup Drills PDF
As the final two teams battle for the cup, there are plenty of intense moments and great plays. This week we’ll look at Claude Giroux’s OT winner vs the Blackhawks on 6/2/10.
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