Skating, Stick Handling and Decission Making

I continue with some valuable things from Dave Smiths lecture, from the international hockey coaching seminarium.

He talked about the complexity in hockey, you need to skate, do stick handling and take decissions, which is not possible if you haven’t automized some of the skills or moves. If your skating isn’t automized, you need to focus on that and loose stick handling and good decissions (or you do stick handling and loose your movement / skating)

If you don’t have good automized skating skills, you will have problems with the game. 1. Quick and fast feets / skating (coordination skills)
2. Good stick handling skills will automatically give you more time on focusing on the game itself and to make good decissions during the game.

Test the footwork and coordination skills

You can test these coordination skills by a simple hockey off-ice practice. Let your players run standing on the same spot, add stick handling and start to ask them questions. Do they drop in speed or have problems performing these two things together, then you know you need to work extra either on footwork / skating or stick handling. Below an example from the stick handling and puck control eBook found on this page >>

Hockey stick handling excercise / drill / practice

Repetitions are the magic ingredient in hockey practices, 10 000 Hours – 10 years

A number of studies have shown that it will take ten thousands of hours to become a master of what you are doing or 10000 repetitions to automize a skill. This will apply for leadership, professional hockey players, floorball, work, hobbies etc. Each of us has the potential to master what we are doing, but it will require time, 10000 hours, or about ten years, if you really want to be the best in whatever you do. But too many of us don’t commit to the things we are doing, well enough, but we still hope to be the best or recognized, sometimes we give up too early, wondering why we never become the best.  “I was a great talent, when I was young…” Ever heard that?

Hockey Formation / System / Tactics

In the International Hockey Coaching Training, during the World Championships in Sweden, we also had the opportunity to listen to the Swedish National Hockey team coach, before each game.

Before the game against Russia, the team formation or system was discussed. Earlier Sweden have been playing 2-2-1 with defined or static roles, and with the mindset of putting pressure when the timing is correct. Since the statement “when timing is correct” can create confusion, he system has been changed, and the valuing part of “when it’s correct time” has been removed. Today Sweden play 2-2-1, but player 1 in top will always put pressure and the roles are flexible, the most offensive player will take the role of being P1 and the player that puts the pressure imediately, the other forwards will then adjust and take the two other roles P2 and P3.

Evgeny Malkin Russia, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins against Sweden IIHF WC
Evgeny Malkin Russia (NHL Pittsburgh Penguins) vs. Henrik Zetterberg Sweden (NHL Detroit Red Wings)