Coaching Ice Hockey
Each team practice should have a specific purpose or skill-building goal. If your team played poor defense last game, then focus on defense. At the end of a practice, play a game so players can apply the skills they learned. When coaching ice hockey, always give your players positive reinforcement if they show improvement in these areas.
Organization is key to being a successful coach. When coaching ice hockey, always have your practices organized and mapped out beforehand. Also, have all your lines and game strategies planned before the game begins. Organization will help you and make it easier for your players to succeed.
Keep your cool:
Always keep your coal during ice hockey games. Whether you coach children or young adults, your demeanor on the bench is important in keeping your team's composure on the ice. When coaching ice hockey, the coach is a reflection of the team and the team feeds off of the attitude of the coach.
Adjust your offense, defense and special team lines as different players advance in skill level. Your fourth line center may get on a hot streak and replace a slumping second line center for a few weeks. These adjustments help you exploit weaknesses in opponents while building the best lines possible.
Practice Special Teams:
Having a strong power play and penalty killing unit is essential to winning games. Make sure that you practice your power play and penalty killing strategies during practice, especially if you are not executing them well during the games. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and change the players if things are not working well.
Practice Strength and Conditioning:
Strength and conditioning is essential to building a strong team. Weight training is a great way to improve strength. The stronger your players are, the more they will be able to accomplish on the ice.
Work as a Team:
Hockey is all about teamwork so make that all your players are working together effectively as a strong unit. You don’t want one player doing all the work, so don’t place all your emphasis on any single player, since you will need a backup plan if that player gets injured. Strong teams win hockey games by playing together as a team.
Always keep records and statistics from all games and practices. Keeping records allows you to see what worked well and what did not work during your games so that you can practice accordingly to change the situation for the next game. If you don’t have an assistant coach to help you out ask one of the parents or somebody else to help you. Keeping records will be your blueprint as the season progresses, and you will be able to change your game plan as events develop.
Don’t Forget the Basics:
Basic drills and good old fashioned conditioning during practices is essential to keeping your players in good shape and making sure that their skills stay sharp. Don’t just let your practices be run by the captains. Have a strict game plan when coaching ice hockey, and stick to it. Coaching ice hockey is all about being the leader and leading by example.
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