Norwegian Hockey To The Top

The most impressive presentation during the hockey coach training, was the Norwegian one. So good content and fantastic presentation by Roy Johansen (National hockey team coach) and his colleague from Olympic coaching team (Olympiatoppen).

Roy Johansen Norway Hockey Roy Johansen to the left, Dan Hobér to the right.

Norway started their development by thinking of, what are the best teams / nations doing? What does the best hockey player do, what skills do they have, and what skills are they masters of?

Then they continued with working with their own team identity, who are we? What can we be best in? What can we control? Can we chase the other team all over the rink?

As an output from this, Team Norway could get some answers and identify areas to focus on. The key area was the answer to the questions, What can we be best in? What can we control?

We can be physically prepared. Therefore they – Created a physical training development stair, with defined levels of, what is world class. – Started an “Ironman” competition for all players and teams, that is run before the season starts. – Defined their way of playing hockey – Defined team values, or valuing words to describe wanted behavior within the hockey team. – Set goals short and long term

Team Norway Hockey, Victory over Latvia during World Championships 2012

“Extreme goals – Requires extreme process” /Team Norway

To be continued…

Ice Hockey in Denmark

I will continue with the learnings from the hockey coaching training, I attended during the World Championships in hockey. Next up Denmark…

Per Bäckman the head coach of Denmarks national hockey team and Esben Nedermark GM Danish National Hockey Team started their presentation, with talking about how small sport hockey is in Denmark.

Denmark hockey team and coaches, From right to left, behind the bench, Per Bäckman, Tomas Jonsson and Esben Nedermark.

Danish hockey has:
– 4400 registered players
– 16 teams
– 24 indoor rinks

While there are:
– 5000 hockey officials/referees in Toronto
– 296818 licensed football players in Denmark
– 5800 badminton players in Denmark
and 6000 Floorball players

Still Denmark is in the highest division in hockey, I will altough also talk about Norway, they have done an impressive work, with small or similar resources (6700 registred players!

What have Denmark done then?

One of the focus areas have been to have short and quick attacks, if you have not scored after 15 seconds you can give the puck to the other team, like the Norwegian national football team manager “Drillo” Olsen once said.

The Danish team have also been working with tactic and the discipline to stick to it, teambuilding, social environment and technical skills (opposite to Norway). What they are not good in regarding the national team coaches, is the physical part, they are too weak. The hard practicing culture is not there…

About the future…

Regarding the future for Danish hockey, Per Bäckman was quite negative, “we are at the top now, we will not get better, and we will not get more players or rinks, we need to take care of what we have now and try to maintain that.”

Wrong attitude…

In my mind totally wrong attitude, you will always need development and try to recruit new players and develop the game, players and teams (like Norway, coming in later post). When you think you can not develop or are satisfied, you will start your stagnation and to roll down the hill you are climbing and be eliminated in the end!

Denmark hockey and floorball Danish Hockey a good story (name of the presentation) – They have done a good work, but it will not last for so long, with the attitude I have described above…

“You have totally different view on game system and tactics than Sweden?” “Yes, I can not understand, why you would chase another players on the ice for 60 minutes” /Per Bäckman

Hockey Game Tactics Sweden

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

“We want to play with full puck control / possession towards the offensive zone, and in the  offensive zone we try to go straight towards the goal, P1 goes in front of the goal and P2 seeks up the rebound area. We also try to stay in the way of the goalie and steer the shots. Other areas we focus on, are to “win the inside” in 1-1 situations. You can say that, the more skilled hockey players you have the less we talk about how, it’s more about what.”

Roger Rönnberg Swedish National Team Ice Hockey Sweden

/Roger Rönnberg, Swedish National Team Coach in ice hockey

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)