Scoring Goals (Video)

On Saturday, I linked to a highlight video showcasing the goals scored in Game 2 of the Rangers/Canadiens series.

I took a more indepth look at that video today – check out the full breakdown here: https://youtu.be/R4mpDoFw03A

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Why I Coach: Relationships

There are many reasons why I coach. Probably too many to get into all of them. This morning, I had reason to pause and consider one of them while responding to an email from someone I’ve known for over 10 years – and only because of the sport of hockey.

After my freshman year of college I seized an opportunity to work at a hockey camp in Nisswa, Minnesota – Minnesota Hockey Camps. Since that summer, I’ve spent 9 summers in the Brainerd Lakes Area as either a counselor or a coach, coaching, mentoring and working with young people from all areas of the country. Anyone who’s ever spent time at MHC will tell you it’s a very special place filled with special people.

One of the people that I met there is now playing college hockey on the East Coast. We got to know each other through MHC, first working as counselor & camper, then as co-workers at the camp as we aged. When it came time to look at colleges, she asked me for some schools to look at, as she was considering going somewhere out east. I was someone from outside of the normal circles and someone who had experience in other parts of the country. I value the experience of moving away from home and meeting new people, as it was a huge part of my growth and development as a young man and something that I think has immense benefits.

Yesterday, I received an email from her. Last week I ran into her men’s coaches and asked about her and how she was doing. It was so cool to hear how happy she was, how much she was enjoying her experience and she was thankful for my help in finding a college. She has had a good career with a growing program and helped them find new levels of success. To read that email and know that I had an impact on her life is a very special feeling and one you don’t get after a game.

As a coach, you impact many people’s lives on a daily basis but you don’t always truly know the impact of your words and actions. The ability to motivate, inspire and mentor young people is an opportunity and responsibility that coaches have every day and one that is often taken far too lightly. Meetings may only last for 15 minutes, practices for an hour and games for two, but these relationships that we build can last a lifetime.

The impact of that email that I read this morning cannot be understated – it hit me at a time when I needed it most (as these things usually do) and helped to remind me of one of my core values as a coach. Relationships. Building, maintaining and cultivating relationships is at the very core of who I am and what I do. Why do I coach? Because of the email that I see

Why do I coach? Because of the email that I receive from an old friend thanking me for my influence in her life.

8 Coaching Mistakes I Wish I Never Made

We all make mistakes. Players, coaches, people. The best thing we can do is learn from others and recognize potential mistakes before they happen.

A great article with some timely reminders for a Monday morning:

8 Coaching Mistakes I Wish I Never Made

Wednesday Drill of the Week: 10 Minute Drill

10-minute-drill

A fun competition drill this week. Forwards vs D & Goalies.

Set the clock to 10 minutes. The forwards have to score 15 goals – if they do they win, if not the D & Goalies win.

The drill starts with the two F’s closest to the Coach getting a pass and going in 2v0. They get one look at the net and then the play is done. Coach will give them a second puck where they go down 2v1 on a D (same one look at the net).

The two F’s now pick up a third from the far corner (with a puck) and go down on 2 new D, 3v2. After the 3v2 ends, the 3rd F who joined then gets a breakaway.

After the breakaway ends, the drill starts over. If the Forwards score 15 (or more!) they win.

A great drill to do to end practice, it’s fun for the team and has a great compete element. Losing has consequences!

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Peewee to Pro

Peewee to Pro.jpg

A great continuous passing drill today. Can be done with any level (hence the name…)

The drill starts with all the players lined up at the redline. The first player (black line) goes around the far cone, second player (green) goes around the second cone and the third player (blue) carries a puck around the first cone. Blue passes to green who passes to black. Black then goes in and takes a shot on net. Blue and green now continue on with purple starting the next puck. Going around the opposite set of cones, purple takes a puck around the first cone and passes to blue. Blue has moved from the first cone to the second cone, receives the pass and gives it to green. Green has gone around the third cone (from the second) and now goes in and takes a shot. It becomes continuous, with each player going around the next cone in the sequence.

As the players get the hang of the drill (shouldn’t take too long), you can then move half of the team to the other side and have both sides going at once. This will work to stress the system of your players, needing them to play with their head up and move the puck quickly to avoid head on collisions.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Cutback Shooting

Overlap Shooting.jpg

An individual skill drill for forwards this week. The drill starts with X1 (black) carrying a puck on a wide drive outside the dots. Continuing to drive below the goal line, X1 then executes a cutback. X2 (green) times his departure, leaving so that he will arrive below the goal line at an appropriate time to execute an overlap (or scissor) move with X1. On this overlap, X1 drops the puck to X2. X2 then drives towards the back of the net and cuts back, creating space to make a play. X1 has now continued to find the soft spot in the zone (just inside the dot). X2 passes to X1 who catches & shoots on net.

Forwards should focus on their individual habits in this drill – playing with their head up, keeping their hands away from their body, making plays at speed. Coaches can add in token defensive pressure on the drive and on the overlap play to help simulate game play.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Norton 2v0

2v0 Multiple Attacks.jpg

A 2v0 multiple attack drill courtesy of Pat Norton (Head Coach at Tufts University). The drill starts with forwards in the four corners – you can start them in line with the dots or you can start them wider, it all depends on the desired spacing. This drill is good for forwards to get comfortable with scissoring and attacking quickly on a 2v0.

All four lines have pucks, starting out of alternating sides simultaneously. X1 makes a long pass to X2 who starts to move up ice. X2 scissors with X1 (optional drop pass) and then they attack the net in the crease 2v0. At the same time, X and X3 would execute the same thing, attacking the net near the blue line.

The second part of the drill is done behind the net. It still starts with a long pass, then a scissor and 2v0 attack. The forwards can attack on the same side of the net, or one can go around the far side for different spacing.