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Clinics/Training - Individual Skills Training

Hard work is the only way to achieve success and lasting confidence. How many times have you heard someone refer to a young player as a very skilled player? Probably not often. The reason is there are not many of them out there.

Discipline and Time. Young players do not have the discipline to work on their skills on their own. Go to any hockey rink and look around and you will see the vast majority of players spend their time shooting pucks at the boards. This does not develop skills. Most parents don’t have the time to work with their player on a consistent basis leaving the finer points of the game (or skills) under developed.

During the season, players and teams spend very little time working on individual skills. A compromise is made and goals such as winning and team concepts are made a higher priority using up much of the available practice time. Also, in order to stretch and maximize ice time, teams will trade ice time for scrimmages. The thought is that two scrimmages are worth more than one practice.

This is just not true. Out of a sixty-minute game the average player will only touch the puck for less than a minute. This amount of time will do nothing to improve stickhandling skills.

When it comes to skating, let us say for example, a player has a hard time making a power turn to the left. In a game, he or she will simply not make that turn to the left. This takes the skater out the play and the opportunity will have been missed. The same can be said for stickhandling. If the player can’t handle the puck well enough to make the play then opportunity is missed.

No one can be a good hockey player until he or she no longer has to think about their feet or whether the puck is still at the end of their stick. It’s simple, without good skating and stickhandling skills a player can’t see the ice or be part of the play that is in front of them. As parents and coaches, we can’t expect this from them until skills are developed.

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