Hope you and the rest of the coaches will have a safe and Merry Christmas.
I'm coaching at the high school level, we have our 1st line that is really good - fast, anticpate each other, move the puck. BUT, our second, third and our fourth line - has no imagination, head down, throwing the puck, just bad hockey.
We will play some SAG's, but the 1st line dominates, I try to mix all 4 lines together - wishing for lines 2 thru 4 to learn to play against the "better" line (1st). They get frustrated, but we tell them to compete and they do, but I need to get lines 2-4 to work on their game sense and scoring ability. Those lines can shoot, are quick, just no hockey sense - moving to open areas, passing to space, inderect passing, we work on shooting drills...usually vs air. But we do 1v1's, 2v1's, etc.
Any advice from you and any other coach would be much appreciated.
Thank you, Iceman ------------------------------------------------ Iceman, I think you have the kind of team that most coaches have. Smart players are not common. I think it is best to keep creative players together instead of putting a Play Ender with them. Luap's idea of changing the identity to an energy line or a checking line is probably the best advice.
Keep working on the skills and game sense to make them all better players and maybe a few more will become on ice thinkers.
Keep working on what you are doing but maybe instead of trying to make the other lines like your 1st line look at what their strengths are and change the game plan to make better use of their strengths, maybe a dump and chase type of game. At the pee wee level we have a couple of lines that are quite skilled, move the puck well and make some pretty plays. We also have a line that is fast, plays a simple game, fore checks like crazy and often in tight games they are the more productive line.
Dwight Trumbower has done such a terrific job of designing this site that it is easy to find things by using the search function.
if you go to http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/index.php which is the video section of this site and then to the search function on the right and type in pro you will get about 140 examples of pro's from all over the world doing drills, games, transition games. Type in Detroit and you get about 15, Flames also works.
U18 takes you to a lot of the drills I do with my team as well as the national U18 team, U22, CW is the Canadian Women which I also label as Pro W or ProW.
Words like Finnish, Czech, Dukla, Russian, Swiss, Swedish take you to examples of European team doing training. Calgary is a great place to see all levels of hockey because Hockey Canada is based here and they have the 4 rink complex where international and pro teams practice. I also have a lot of video clips from my 20 hockey trips going to seminars, doing camps or coaching in Europe.
I didn't put pro as part of the title on a lot of them but I did on most.
You can also search for topics like passing, shooting, defensive zone play, transition games, or any hockey topic you like and the search function will find it. All of the videos have descriptions and diagrams that can be found by using the search function on the main page which finds all of the examples on the site. Each section also has a search function. There are over 800 practice drills and games, so coding and labeling makes finding them a lot easier.
Basic Review of the coding system.
A - skating and individual skills. B - Partner and group skills. Lots of passing and scoring drills as well as individual defensive skills. C - Situation skills where the offense is trying to score vs. defenders. D - Full ice and small area games. DT - Transition games which take the skills practiced in the C drills and put them into one puck game situations where the play is completed and you transition from defense to offense and offense to defense. E - shootouts and contests. F - conditioning skating. G - Goalie skills. O - Off-ice training. T - Teaching team play. Drills and games that have a lot of direct coach input. Dzone, power play, penalty kill, breakouts are the kind of topics.
The Mac's Midget Tournament starts tomorrow and Finland has sent their U17 National Team. Kalle the coach of Finland and his two assistant coaches came over to my house yesterday to look at the outdoor rink two blocks away. They are going to bring the boy's to skate and play shinny outside since all of the arenas are closed and it is better than sitting around a hotel all day.
I just got up and am going with my next door neighbour to get the ice ready. It is 7:15 now and they are skating at 10. I will take a few pictures.
We took about 90 minutes to get the ice ready. Lots of players skated the day before so it was pretty rough. I drove the sweeper and we both threw the snow over the 9' frost fence at one end then Terry started to flood with the hose while I finished throwing the rest of the snow. We got it done about 30 minutes before the bus drove up with the team.
My 11 year old grand son Aidan came to play as well. We threw all of the sticks together and one of the players tossed them into 4 piles. Each pile was a team. Two teams went on the big pleasure skating rink and put two nets on it while the other two played on the hockey rink. We switched rinks after about 25 minutes.
It was great. Aidan, the coaches and I played as well. It is very different to play with people who think pass first. The rule was that goals had to come on one touch shots which had to be on the ice since no one had equipment and there was no goalies.
One minute video of the game on the pleasure rink.
I haven't had a lot of time to do anything on the site lately. My team is in the Mac's tournament and I have spent a lot of time with the Finnish U17 team and family things. I am heading out to watch them play their third game. I hope they get more competition. They won the first game 9-1 and second game 13-0. The key is that they pass the puck. Kalle Kaskinen the head coach and I work with Juhani Wahlsten on the ABC philosophy and we coach basically the same way except passing is part of the Finnish hockey culture and he doesn't have to detrain players to stop trying to carry the puck 1 on 5 through the other team and retrain them to pass to a player in better position and give support all over the ice.
I was at the Flames-Oilers game with them last night and they have prepared a Youtube video of the shinny game on Christmas Day and promised to send it to me. When I get it I will post it here.
My team is 1-1 in the tournament. We played the defending champs game one and lost 1-2. We had about 4 scoring chances in the last minute with our goalie out. Yesterday we came from behind 0-2 and won 3-2. We play again tonight.
You Tube video of our Pond Hockey game on Christmas Day.
As a follow up the Finns won their next games 9-2, 7-1 and 7-1 on the final vs. the Swiss U17 National Team. They just play the game a better way. They make the puck work for them with the 'pass first' philosophy.
Another year for Canada to come home without a medal at the U20 World Championships. The USA won last year but were eliminated before the medal round this time.
I emailed my Finnish partner Juuso Wahlsten to congratulate him on them first winning the Mac's midget U18 tournament with their U17 team and then winning the World Junior Championship. He answered 'thank-you and we also just won the World Ringuette Championship. (Juuso introduced the game to Finland after seeing it on one of his trips to Canada)
The Swedes and Finland were in the final and each country has about 10% of the total players that Canada and the USA have. They have to use their resources efficiently and do a great job of coaching to make up for the huge gap in total number of players.
I like to study how they coach and approach the game and see that their methods are very superior to what we do. Some big examples are:
1 - develop the athleticism of their players. They play many sports and learn to train at a young age.
2 - they play cross-ice until U10. This results in players learning to play in smaller spaces and 600% more touches in game. The star can't just beat one or two players and go on a breakaway like happens in full ice with young kid's.
3 - they teach the mechanics of puck handling, passing, skating at an early age. If you don't stride to the side, hold your stick properly, pass with a heel to heel rotation, play in the triple threat position, etc. etc. at a young age - during the golden years of learning which are the last 3-4 years before puberty, then your capacity to be a good player is in reality destroyed.
4 - they use a lot of 'games to teach the game' with the young players and all through their hockey training. This promotes creativity. (Canada Jr.s had few creative players and the women's team doesn't look on the same level as the USA in skill or creativity.)
The style of play also has to suite the big ice 30x60 m. 200x100 ft. vs. 200x85 ft.. You can't play the usual NHL style of overloading with 3 F's on one side and expect them to cover the extra 15 ft. You need to have balance all over the ice. One pass on the big rink eliminates all three forwards. Styles like the 'left wing lock' are much more effective on the big ice. For Canada's sake I hope Coach Babcock hasn't forgotten this forecheck. North American pro teams haven't won at the World Championships for a long time when they are played on European sized rinks. We used the Pounce in Austria and it was effective because you had three on the forecheck on both sides and four on the attack but three F's didn't have to chase the puck side to side. A balance style of play is needed.
There is a better way to coach the game and this site exists to explore the most effective ways to coach.
(These comments are based on my 20 hockey trips to Europe where I have worked with many teams and done many hockey camps. Also based on my coaching with the head of Czech hockey, the former Russian Olympic coach, working with the current Finnish Olympic coach, coaching in Austria with coaches from every hockey nation and studying the game extensively with Juhani Wahlsten, IIHF hall of famer as my mentor. I have also attended about 15 total IIHF and Hockey Canada international symposiums where high level coaches from all over the hockey world present. So I have had the opportunity to see and hear a lot. ) Most of the time on my own dime.