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http://www.hcdukla.cz/fotogalerie.asp?zobraz=kategorie&kategorie=402 is a link to photo's from the Czech hockey school.

I will give a summary of the practices. I have 4 top asst. instructors and one goalie coach. 22 skaters 96-01 born and 4 goalies. One instructor speaks english and translates for me.

I met the parents and my staff. We did an off ice stickhandling session and on ice we repeated the session and played a lot of cross ice 1-1 games to practice the concept.

I am staying in the GM of the team's place in a little village outside of Jihlava. Beautiful contryside. Now to sleep. I will take some pics.

The facilities are really run down but they are building a new practice rink this year and a new arean next year. The gym is from the communist era when this was the Army team and won almost every year. Now there is a hole in the ceiling where the rain comes through and many of the light fixtures are broken with wires hanging down. The rink is about 60 years old but the ice is good. They are building a new practice rink this year and then tearing down the arena and replacing it. The communist era from 67-97 kicked the h-ll out of the country but they are revitalizing everything. There is a lot of unemployment in this city as the huge Bosch plant is working at half capacity making car parts.

Monday we had dryland and I led them through passing technique and they were in 4 skaters groups each with a coachand the goalies did goalie things with there coach. Petr Svoboda played for Toronto and in the American league so he can speak english The other coaches don't speak the Queens language.

We did the same things on the ice as in the dryland and focused on passing technique, passing games and a shootout. We have 4 goalies and 22 skaters. I use 4 large nets and 8 small tires.

After the second ice time Petr set up a 13 station circit that they went throug with 20 " at a station. They did tumbling on gymnastics mats before that. Tomorrow; shooting.They gave me a stick with a huge banana curve so I don't know if I hit anything.

Tuesday I had a surprise visitor. Slavamir Lener dropped in to visit me. Slava is the head technical coach for the Czech hockey federation. He was in Calgary for a year with Hockey Canada and we were asst. coaches together at the U of Calgary. He heard I was there and took a detour on his way somewhere to come and visit for a bit. Great to see him.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
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Registered: 06/25/08
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Location: Calgary, Canada
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We finish this morning with a game and then I am driving to Salzburg to visit my friends there in the town and the team. I also want to see two players who I recommended to them and are there now. They practice at 4 today so I think I can make it to watch.

There was a barbeque last night and the parents came. We gave out certificates and then all the players had me sign their hats and get pictures with them. It was good and the feedback from the camp was very positive.

Petr Svoboda who played for Toronto and coaches the jr. A, U20 team had me run his Thurday practice and I planned his practice yesterday and watched it. He really likes the transition games and wants to learn how to run them on ice. He did a really good job with them yesterday and I think he understands how they can help you create any situation by changing the supporting players and the situations. People like him who played the game at a high level really understand how transition is critical and transition games are the most effective andrealistic way to practice game situations.

It will be pretty quiet when I get back to Calgary.I no longer do the college hockey school that used to take up my August time; so it looks like no coaching until my team starts in September.


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Registered: 06/25/08
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People are responsive to your system, Tom, because it works. It's just a better way to teach and to coach than the methodologies suggested by USA Hockey or Hockey Canada. Really it can be this simple at times: drills are laborious, short area games are fun. Starting point drills are unlike what actually happens in a game; transition drills ARE the game. I am glad that the ABC's are catching on, but - to be totally honest - a little worried in that I need to get a good coaching job before the Peter Svobodas of the world beat me to them.
Why are you not doing the Calgary College Camp this year? Who are you coaching in September? Enjoy Finland !

   
Chatty
Registered: 05/28/09
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Pops, I spent a few great days in Salzburg. Visited my friends and the coaches and former players. Also two kid's I used to coach Ryan Duncan, who won the Hobey Baker and Dan Bertram who got drafted in the second round by Chicago are now there. They took me out to lunch.

Pierre Page the head coach took me to dinner on Sat. and some friends last night. Beautifu weather so we went to outdoor cafe's in the old city. One cafe for dinner then another for dessert. I also got a great bike ride in with one of my friends.

Drove 4.5 hrs to take the car back to Jihlava and the GM asked me if I would be in coming there for a month or two to teach the coaches my method of coaching hockey. I said it is possible and he said he will work on getting a sponsor to pay the expenses. Sponsors pay a lot of the costs in European hockey.

I am in a hotel in Prague now. I got here about 4 and spent 5 hours wandering around the old city. Again I got a bike guided tour to learn about the sites and then walked up to the castle and had dinner while I looked down on the little people below. Fly home tomorrow.

Found out some interesting things about the youth hockey in Jihlava. The club pays for the equipment and the fee is very low to play. The city pays most of the cost.


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Pierre Page must have found a home over there because if he really wanted an NHL job he could have one. The way that they recycle coaches over here confounds me. There are a couple of guys about to start the upcoming season with their 3rd NHL club. Do those organizations really expect anything different. Someone who was distant from his players and created discomfort because of it is not going to fare any better in Vancouver than he did in Edmonton or New York. I guess my real question is why the NHL is so resistant to change. I watch a handful of practices every season. I know that it is easy to be critical but, for the most part, they are a waste of time.

I hope that the people in Finland can appropriate the funds to bring you back. Clearly, you are in your element over there and enjoy it immensely. I am not good enough yet to coach in Europe but would go there in a heartbeat if I improved to the point where a foreign club might be interested. This will be my first season as a Head Coach in the college ranks and I feel certain that the ABC's will be well received. For sure, we are all going to have a good time and learn from the experience.

Just out of curiosity, is Dan Bertram the guy that the Blackhawks tried to turn into a banger? If so, I hope that he lights it up over there. Just from watching your tapes anyone can see that the skill level is impressive and the focus in on skill - intimidation seems to be minimal.

   
Chatty
Registered: 05/28/09
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I am in the Minneapolis airport now. It is almost 3 a.m. Czech time, so I am really tired. 3 hr. layover then about 3 more on the plane. Long day.

It is the Jihlava team in the Czech Republic that asked if I am willing to come there for an extended time to train their coaches. In the communist era it was the powerhouse of Czech hockey as the army team. Just like the Red Army team in Moscow.

Bertram was drafter by Chicago in the second round. He was a skilled goal scorer growing up. The Red Bulls and trying to help him find his skills again. They play a Russian team in Fussen, Germany today. It would be interesting to see how he did. I will have to check their site to see if they do summaries of ex games.

I heard Pierre was in the running for the Minny job last year. I don't know if that is true. He would add a lot of action. I tell you he would never have 4 stand still in the nzone while one passively forechecks. If I want to watch that I can go to a bus stop. Pierre always has 4 on the attack and overloads the strong side with 4. Fun to watch and it produces championship teams.


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I have scanned my practice plan sheets. I use small paper that I can put in my pocket to refer to. I met with the 4 coaches and goalie coach 30 min. before practice and went over the plan on a small rink board. Petr translated for me and I used international symbols so the coaches understood a lot from these and caught on more and more as the week progressed.

I ran one U20 practice with Petr Svaboda and then designed the next one but watched him instead of going on the ice. |He had about 24 skaters and 4 goalies. I had 22 and 4. So we both used 4 nets a lot of the time.

When I get time I will put this on a nice practice sheet with diagrams and explanations.


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Here are diagrams from most of the drills and games we did.


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Hi Tom

Thank You for your great job in Jihlava. I saw training our U15 team yesterday and couches used your exercises. The parents were positive surprised and me as well Smile

I‘m very glad, your flight to Calgary was without unexpected situation.

Jarda


   
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Thanks Jarda I had a great time there. I am going to post examples of the drills we used at the camp plus the games with added games for the coaches reference. Please tell them that they can look here and should be able to click on the titles to see diagrams and often videos. I have also attached a pdf of this.

ON THE PDF YOU CAN CLICK ON THE TITLES AND THEY TAKE YOU TO DIAGRAMS AND DESCRIPTION OF THE DRILLS, GAMES OR ARTICLES OR ELSE VIDEOS OF THE ACTIVITIES.

Everything that was here is on the pdf file and the links take you to videos and many of the games and drills.


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I forgot the body checking practice.
http://hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?s=20080720174243862 it is similar to what they did and is done with kid's the same age in Calgary.

I will add it to the pdf.


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Tom, what is the Player Development: The 10, 000 Hour Rule? You mentioned its a book? Any info?

This is great stuff! I have to print it so no comments from me yet.
But thanks for doing this

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nevermind saw the thread about it

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Tom - congratulations on writing the greatest 'reply' in history...and I'm only half kidding. It took me over half an hour to read it; it will take a great deal longer than that to absorb it all - and I am truly grateful for your input. My question is about your pre-season planning. Are there certain drills that you consider to be an absolute staple of the program - activities that would be part of every Try Out session and then every practice after that? There are so many things that I want to incorporate from the ABC's that I am having some uncertainty as to 'prioritizing'. Believe me, Tom, I would not burden you with having to write my Training Camp Planner, but a little nudge in the right direction would be totally appreciated. Any word on going back to Europe?

   
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Pops, I think it is essential at the beginning to find out which players can play and who can't play. There are some essentials you have to find out about right away if you are going to select the right players for your team.
My priorities are these.

1. Skating- can the player skate adequately to compete at the level you are coaching. If they can't keep up it doesn't really matter what else they can do.
2. How hard do they compete. If they are the best skater or puck handler but don't battle then they won't be effective.
3. Game sense. If they can skate and battle but don't see the ice they will be ineffective.
4. Skills. These are important and must be adequate. If you coach well and they work on the skills they will get better. Skills without the above 3 don't count for much.

So when I select a team I create game situations that will highlight these attributes in players.
a. Games where they battle for loose pucks will show the skating and competition levels.
b. Small area and full ice games will demonstrate the skill and the game sense.

I am going to try and put together a basic outline for a yearly plan in the next day or two.


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Quote by: TomM

Pops, I think it is essential at the beginning to find out which players can play and who can't play. There are some essentials you have to find out about right away if you are going to select the right players for your team.
My priorities are these.

1. Skating- can the player skate adequately to compete at the level you are coaching. If they can't keep up it doesn't really matter what else they can do.
2. How hard do they compete. If they are the best skater or puck handler but don't battle then they won't be effective.
3. Game sense. If they can skate and battle but don't see the ice they will be ineffective.
4. Skills. These are important and must be adequate. If you coach well and they work on the skills they will get better. Skills without the above 3 don't count for much.

So when I select a team I create game situations that will highlight these attributes in players.
a. Games where they battle for loose pucks will show the skating and competition levels.
b. Small area and full ice games will demonstrate the skill and the game sense.

I am going to try and put together a basic outline for a yearly plan in the next day or two.

For number one and two I 've used 2v2 continious full ice transition drill

for 1, 2, and 3 I have the 2v2 transition attack - defend - leave, where if you enter the drill as an attacking player you attack then you defend or/and backcheck and finally help with break out under your own blue line. then leave. If you enter as an defensive player you frist defend -> break out, attack.and -> forecheck until the puck is off the offensive blue line-> leave. you have to play in all 4 roles and read and react.

For SAG i used 2v2/3v3 with jokers, and just basic 2v2 and 3v3 game. and allso 2v2/3v3 games where you can score on both goals

Kai


Kai

   
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Registered: 06/10/09
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Kai
I appreciate your suggestion and will probably put it to use. As far as try-outs are concerned, picking the top 6 Forwards and top 4 D-Men is easy. Picking out the bottom of the group is not difficult either. It is the middle group that creates a lot of soul searching. Obviously the better skaters of that lot will stand out as the week goes on . Now you have 10 left and 6 have to go. This is where the waters get muddy. This is also where I will use your ideas, Kai, and discover which guy wants it more. I have always liked players with huge hearts - have always had problems with lazy players. At this point you are looking at potential 4th Liners anyway. All things being equal, a coach may as well pick the hungriest of the bunch.

   
Chatty
Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 42
17 posts :: Page 1 of 1