Some coaches have written to say this like this section in other seasons; so I still put my plans and game summaries here again this season. It is also a good way for me to keep track of what I have done in practice.. This is also a way for me to demonstrate how the ABC method of coaching combines drills, small area games, full ice games, tournaments and transition games to practice the skills, good habits and the ability to read the play and make positive decisions.
I prepare my practices with TC whiteboard and make the diagrams and then use their practice template by copying and pasting from the pdf's I make of practice drills and games. I then send the pdf to my asst. coaches and myself so that we all have a digital copy to refer to. In the last six months I have converted my video to a format that can be seen on smart phones, tablets, desktops and laptops. Most of my exercises have a short video demonstration to jog the memory if needed.
The basic philosophy of the program is outlined in our first coaching manual that you can see with Adobe Reader using this link. http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/filemgmt/index.php?id=104
Team so far.
I have one goalie, three forwards and three defense returning to my U18 female team. there are two teams in Calgary and we play in the Provincial League with ten other teams. I am also coach of a combined tournament team that is going to Stoney Creek for a 64 team tournament the weekend after Labour Day. We have already chosen this team and it has most of the better players who are trying out now.
Last week was a conditioning camp and the evaluations started two days ago. We have had two sessions so far. There is a goalie evaluation on Tuesday and games Fri., Sat., Sunday followed by a draft.
I understand the draft is the same as in other seasons. You must protect at least 6 players and can only protect 8. We draw straws for the first pick and the winner choses to pick first or second. The order is 1-2-2-1-1-2-2-1 and then if a team protected less than 8 players and the other team protected more the team with less gets up to two more picks to make the number taken even. The order then changes to 1-2-1-2 until everyone has chosen 20 skaters and 3 goalies. We practice for a week and then name 17 skaters and 2 goalies and the ones not chosen are named affiliates and play in the league below.
So the job now is to rank all of the players and draft the ones you like.
The other team has 10 returning skaters and can only protect 8 of them. Two D and 8 F. They have 0 goalies returning. They have to decide who to leave off their protected list of 8.
Two of my graduating players are on their way to play for Universities in the east, one in Nova Scotia and one in PEI. Another was already at university and has a try-out. My top scorer was recruited by a few colleges but chose to go to the university in Victoria where they don't have a varsity team. My graduating goalie is going to an American Prep School to do the graduate year and play.
The majority of the new players are forwards and the huge need is for defensemen, espectilly for the other team. There are only 8 new defense trying out.and over 25 new forwards. It is strange how things go.
Last year there were a lot of D. Two of my D graduated, two D and one F are going to sports schools and one moved. Last year I had extra D and this year we need to add at least 3. I have the strongest goalie and need to choose one more. I am at a disadvantage as the three coaches on the other team all coached U15 in the last two years and know the players. One benefit is we are watching them through new eyes without prejudice but know little about their character.
These players take their hockey seriously. From last years team they have moved all over Canada and the USA. PEI, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Warner AB, Eastern USA.
Girl's go to sports schools so they can train and be on the ice every day and these schools recruit them relentlessly promising they will get scholarships. (all of my players from the last two seasons have been offered positions on varsity teams so it is really a neutral decision; they do play in more tournaments but we play in three and are scouted during the season. If you are good they will find you and since I was a college and university coach for 16 years I have a lot of connections. (When I resigned my college coaching position to go to Austria I had the highest winning % and most career wins. So I do have some credibility with them) Anyway it is hard to fight against the perception that you must go to a sports school or you won't get a scholarship)
To improve our program we added one practice to give us 2 x 90 minutes and 1 x 75 minutes per week and are going to the tournament in Stoney Creek to give the players more exposure to Eastern Colleges. We also do dryland training. They can do everything on campus at a sports school and that is an advantage but they have to move away from home and the cost is between $30-45 000 per year. Our program is 20% of that cost.
Like I said. They take it seriously.
I asked my returning players to get together and rank who they consider to be the top 20 players trying out. They did and sent me the list Wednesday night. There are games F-S-Sun followed by the draft. I have protected my goalie and have to send a list of 6-8 protected players in.