Skaters' Skills Overlooked by Coaches

Skaters' Skills Overlooked by Coaches

                Most youth coaches spend very little time, if any (for whatever reasons), on providing practice AND instruction of various skills or refinement of existing ones which are critical to players’ development and for winning games. Of course, ice time is limited and the great majority of coaches believes that the primary, more frequently used skills should simply always be practiced as they are, but does this justify the exclusion of areas or their enhancement, which I shall discuss? If coaches are unable to devote appreciable ice time to these certain skills or feel uncomfortable in explaining and demonstrating them, perhaps “off ice” instruction can be arranged and knowledgeable people solicited for assistance.

Instruction Overlooked in Coaching:

1)  HOW and WHERE to shoot (slap shot, wrist shot, snap shot, backhand)

2)  Proper skating TECHNIQUE (forward, backward, crossover)

3)  How to make and receive passes on the ice (forward, backhand)

4)  How to check (body checks, poke check, sweep check)

Coaches should not simply accept the overall fashion/ability of shooting, skating, passing, and checking that players possess while letting them continue to perform these skills at an unrefined level.

5)  How to skate and spin left and right with the puck on a tight axis

6)  Deflections (body and stick positioning)

7)  Defending in front of net

8)  Shotblocking

9)  How to perform a high flip pass (forehand and backhand) for zone clearance

10) How to make a short flip pass to oneself while stickhandling

11) How to skate speedily with the puck in a circle with only the bottom hand on the stick and keeping the opponent away with the other arm extended

12) How to win face-offs

13) How to receive a fast pass on the forehand and backhand around the boards

14) How to deflect a pass from skates to stick