The video below from Corey McNabb of Hockey Canada is excellent. Corey talks about the importance of two key elements of any successful hockey program. The two key elements are:
- Consistency in Coaching Philosophy within the hockey organization at all of the different levels.
- Consistency in what Coaches are teaching within the hockey organization at all of the different levels.
Corey is absolutely correct in what the 3 goals of every hockey coach should be:
- The kids enjoy coming to the rink for every practice, game or event.
- The kids are improving their technical hockey skills and tactical knowledge and skills both individual and as a group.
- The kids are ready to play at the next level at the end of every hockey season.
Corey provides the solution to Hockey Administrators. Recruit coaches with a similar Coaching Philosophy which also conform with the philosophy of the organization. The Coaches selected must be willing to work together and get on the same page to develop a Seasonal Plan that provides the necessary teaching and learning for players at each level within the organization. A standardized Seasonal Plan approach which is the result of the collaboration of all of the coaches within the organization provides the best opportunity to achieve the two key elements of a successful hockey program. The task at hand for Hockey Administrators’ isn’t easy but it is definitely doable.
At Think Less Play Faster Hockey (TLPF Hockey) we applaud Corey McNabb for sharing this message because it provides a great opportunity for Hockey Administrators’ to right the ship. It is important to have programs at different levels aligned with a standardized program. Consistent teaching and coaching of the same skills and tactics is necessary to achieve continuity from year to year in the development process. At the season’s completion the kids should be ready to play at the next level and continue to improve their skills from the previous season. The focus should not be on winning, the focus should be on development.
At TLPF we would recommend the standardized program be geared to “playing fast” because hockey is a game of time and space. The tactical individual and group skills teaching and coaching must be predicated on playing fast. Creating time and space offensively and taking away time and space defensively should be the focus of the tactical program. After all, the kids are aspiring to play at the next level each year with the goal being to play College/University and/or Junior Hockey which is played fast. The competitive AA and AAA organizations should seriously consider this approach to improve the development of young players.