Diary of a Season 2011-12
A couple of days ago I agreed to coach a U18 female AAA team in the Alberta midget league. The teams are spread across the Province and the winner plays for the National Championship. The league executive called me from Calgary when I was doing a hockey camp in Jasper. It is the highest level for high school aged girls and most of them want to get scholarships at the college level and play in the CIS, NCAA or ACAC.
After coming back from Europe I coached in the WWHL for two seasons. It is called a professional women's league and the players come from the college ranks but it is hard to attract players when they don't get paid. So many of the top players just play rec hockey and the ones that do play aren't very committed to practices or even games. The league folded and now there will be one team that will play in the CWHL vs the 3 teams in the Toronto area and the team in Boston and Montreal. I was surprised the Minnesota team isn't part of the league as they were very good and had many USA players. The league is trying to get sponsorship from the NHL like the women's pro basketball league did with the NBA.
Planning for the Season:
I haven't met with the executive yet by this is the info I have so far from our phone calls.
1. There is a general tryout of all the girl's in the age group.
2. There is a draft and you can protect a certain number of players who played for the team last year.
3. You keep 15 skaters and 2 goalies and have affiliates.
4. Travel is by chartered bus and the trips are from 1 to about 9 hours. You only make a few long ones.
I select my own staff which is very important to me because an assistant with an agenda is poison for the team. I also need someone who understands and believes my coaching philosophy. I have contacted one girl who played goal for me in 2 championship seasons. She is considering it. I asked a friend who played pro for 10 years in Europe is going to coach his sons team.
Practices and Games:
Practices are Tuesday and Thursday before dinner and they have 2 games a week. I am not sure of the game days.
With 2 practices we will work on Offense Roles. Day 1 - individual offensive skills and team offensive skills. On Day 2 we will focus on Defensive Roles 3-4, checking the puck carrier and covering away from the puck.
I want to have dryland and classroom sessions once a week. Hopefull on the same day.
I will use the drills and games that I have posted in the files section for the on ice activity.
A-skating and puckhandling.
B-individual skils such as puck handling, shooting, passing.
C-team play situations such as 2-1 or breakouts.
D-games and SAG for skill and game understanding.
DT-transition games to practice game situations such as a 2-1 using on puck and completing the play.
E-shootouts and contests.
T-coach directed training for team play.
I can't attach word documents here but if you go to the site below there are live links to the A-B-C-D-TD-T- E drills and games. Click on the doc file at the bottom of the posting.