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Before making a season plan it is important to define exactly what you are planning for. What happens in a hockey game should determine how you prepare to play. If it doesn't relate to the game then it is a waste of time and energy.

So first it is important to consider how to prepare for a game by thinking about what happens in a hockey game.

General principles of a Game:
- Average amount of goals between equal teams is 5. So you must average 3 or more a game for and 2 or less a game against.
- Players are on offense about 35% of the time, on defense about 35% of the time and the puck is loose about 30% of the time (first loose puck situation is a face off)
- Your team will have the puck about 200 times and the opponents about 200 times so there are about 7 transitions from offense to defense, defense to offense or loose puck to either every minute.
- Players spend about 40% of the time gliding on two skates and do most of the actions starting from this position.
- On offense you are either in game playing role one of puck carrier or role two of puck support.
- On defense you are either in role 3 the closest player checking the puck carrier or racing for a loose puck or in role 4 of defensive support.
- Over 60% of goals are scored on rebounds.
- On average the puck carrier is in possession about 2.5 seconds and the team on offense about 5 seconds before transition or a loose puck.

These facts demonstrate why good habits are critical. The game is a game of transition between situations, offense, defense and loose puck and in those situation between game playing roles on offense of puck carrier and puck support and on defense of closest checker and covering away from the puck. These roles constantly change. i.e. when you pass the puck you immediately go from role 1 puck carrier to role 2 puck support. You don't stand there and watch but get open for a return pass.

Habits like always face the puck, stick on the ice, head on a swivel, communicate, skate hard to open ice when you get the puck, find openings, stop at the net, follow your shot, follow your pass, tie up sticks on rebounds, seal sticks to the outside when covering in front etc..are what makes the difference between winning and losing.

So a season plan must cover all of the skills of each game playing role and each situation. Numerical situations from 1-0, 1-1 to 6-5 must also be prepared for.

If you are coaching young children skating instruction and practice should be part of each ice session.

Each practice should warm up with individual offensive skills and a possible rotation of practice themes would be:
Day 1 - work on individual offensive skills and skating skills.
Day 2 - work on individual defensive skills up to a 2-2 which has all four game playing roles.
Dav 3 - team offensive skills in each zone from 3-2 to 6-5
Day 4 - team defensive skills from 2-3 to 5-6.

Do this 4 practice rotation and prioritize the progression of skills and situations. By the end of the season you should have worked on everything and be going through review practices based on game performance.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
   
Admin
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3068
Location: Calgary, Canada
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Beginning players need to learn to move on the ice so they would practice
A1, A2, A3 skating and puck carrying.
D1 to D8 skill games
E shootouts and contests.

When they can move in all directions and stop then incorporate B1 to B5 which are formations to practice individual offensive and defensive skills up to 2-2 as well as transition games with passive support using half or cross ice. Also skill games with jokers can create decision making situations.

The next stage is to learn how to play all the situations from 1-1 to 6-5 and C drills are used to practice the situations trying to score vs defenders. B600 drills are used extensively and full ice transition games.

As players mature you intoduce more advanced concepts using the same method and focus more on team play using various controlled scrimmage situations but always reviewing the skills of the game.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
   
Admin
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3068
Location: Calgary, Canada
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In addressing the earlier of these two posts, I have usually been a 'fly by the seat of your pants' guy when it came to practice. Sometimes it worked...certainly not always. In this part of the country ice time is not easy to come by, nor is it cheap. Our boys get 2 hours a week. As such, this year needs to be much more organized. The goal of this weekend is to come up with something that will save me from indecision. Would you guys mind if I shared the basic components? Constructive criticism would be welcome.

   
Chatty
Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 42
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Hey Pops - Tom,

Pops, I for one would be interested? Tom, love to see how you set up your seasonal plan - heck I am going to "steal" some of that if you don't mind. I would be interested in your critique or criticism as well, this is what I have done with my seasonal plan.

We are fortunate to have 4-5 days a week on ice, 2 of those days are shared ice times with another team - (this is for Pee Wees). Starting in November we start league games, so our ice practices deminish a little bit, but we do pick up some other ice times from other teams in our association as they pick up scrimmages or are playing in tournaments.

The first part of the season:
Oct 5 - Nov 30 Goals & Objectives
•Implement our dryland training - usually before our ice times
•Team Meetings - 2
•Parent Meetings - 1
•Team party / get together - 1
•Coach Meetings - 2
•Individual Technical Skills, Individual
Tactics, Introduce - Team Tactics, Team Play

Mid season:
Dec 1 - Feb 15
•Continued dryland
•Team Meetings - 2
•Team parties / get togethers - 1
•Coach Meetings - 2
•Tournament play - 3/4
Continue to work on individual & team
development. Add team strategy

Late season and into playoffs
•Continued dryland & chalk talks
•Team Meetings - 1
•Player & Parent Meetings - 1
•Team party / get togethers - 1
•Coach Meetings - 1/2
Continued development, strategy
continued and implant tournament goals

We also use our dryland time for video (kids love to see themselves playing - we use this more as a team bonding time as well), teaching our team tactics out in a parking lot and or in a gym - not always taking away ice time for the DZ coverage, Forecheck, Breakouts, etc.

Thoughts? Ideas?

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Iceman, the season outline looks solid. My only suggestion, and you may already have done this, is to use the 4 game playing roles as the template to rotate the themes of each ice session or in Pops case divide the 2 ice sessions into 4 parts. What do you want in place early in the season as the basis for everything else you will progress towards.

Also at an early player meeting I suggest you have the players come up with a team covenant that lists behavior and performance expectations in about 10 short points.

We start the second week of September and will have 2 practices a week. My early focus will be.
Role 1. Puck control all around the body and against opposition.
Role 3. D side positioning, stick on the puck, stick in passing lanes and tight gaps.
Role 2. Forecheck and breakouts.
Role 4. Back checking and D zone coverage.

We will progress to specialty teams later as well as regroups etc. Lots of games for skills and decision making and transition games for situations and team play.

My players have all played NCAA or CIS or on the National U22 or National team so it isn't teaching the skills but improving the technique and stressing good habits which are the key to playing well.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
   
Admin
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3068
Location: Calgary, Canada
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Tom,

The 4 game playing roles is going to be added in my seasonal plan. This will be a new deminsion to the plan and will really help - thank you.

The covenent you have is similar (because I "borrowed" your lead) to what I have and we call it our "Expectations". These expecations go over what is expected by the player, how the player will conduct themselves on and off ice. With a youth program, we include an Expectations list for the parents.

In the past, I used our OZ entry for our powerplay, have a couple set plays - but not much. Do you think it is a good idea to teach all the PP's - Umbrella, Overload, etc. or teach to your teams strengths?

I do let all players participate, but in tournament games - late in those games. I do have two PP lines and for the players who are not on the PP I have them on the PK. Letting the PK team know they have a very important role on the team, just like the PP units. It seems to help and both units, PP and PK can change throughout the season.

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Hey,

Here's (link) how we planed our season. I've translated it straight from finnish so terminology can be odd. It's a plan of how we focus our training during the season. note that in physical training every training included at least 15 minute warm up with dynamic stretchin etc. and 15 minute cool down after the practice. On ice we wanted to keep main focus on offensive playing. I'm happy to answer to any questions you have about our season planing.

Kai


Kai

   
Active Member
Registered: 06/10/09
Posts: 159
Location: Finland
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Kai, thanks for sharing. The pre and post practice training is good if you can get the parents to come early enough and stay later.

Iceman I think at the PW 11-1-2 year old level it is good to learn the slot set power play. It flows very well into what most NA teams do on their forecheck on 5-5. If they are skilled enough and the D can shoot well enough then you could have the weak side D slide down for a diamond 1-3-1 but I wouldn't do that until they are very good at the slot set.

I just got an update for my team. I thought a lot of Olympic team players would join us as half of them played for the Oval Extreme in Calgary previously. I guess the ones from here have either retired or moved down east where they are having a draft for them today. We host the Nationals in the west this year so I guess Minnesota will be the only team in our division with a lot of Olympic players from Team USA.

Too bad for those girl's. They don't get to have me as their coach.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
   
Admin
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3068
Location: Calgary, Canada
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Hi everyone:

This thread has motivated me to think through a season plan for the mite travel level (7-8 year old) in southern US. I got a formal "expectations and rules" letter out and expect to review it with the parents at the beginning of our last summer practice. (We have five optional practices before Labor Day.) I have been trying to determine the limits of what these kids can handle in terms of positioning, and so far, I've been very impressed. I am trying to work a continuous half-ice transition game into the end of every practice (1-1 to 2-2, etc) to see if they can get it. I will probably drop this game for less complicated games to teach the skills I am focusing on if they don't have it by Labor Day. Even with me telling them when to enter and leave the game, the transition game seems to be a great teaching tool, and it's fantastic to see the support players hustling into the play.

Based on two 1 hr 15 min half-ice practices/week, I plan to rotate A week (offense) and B week (defense) practices as follows:

Week A - day 1 - Role 1
-Warmup 10-15 min: game, Montreal/corner drill, passing drill
-skating 10 min
-game 10 min
-puck handling/shooting 10 min
-skating 10 min
-[reserved: skill or individual tactic] 10 min
-game 10-15 min: transition game

Week A - day 2 - Role 3
-Warmup 10-15 min: game, Montreal/corner drill, passing drill
-skating 10 min
-game 10 min
-puck handling/shooting 10 min
-skating 10 min
-[reserved for offensive team tactic] 10 min
-game 10-15 min: transition game

Week B - day 1 - Role 2
-Warmup 10-15 min: game, Montreal/corner drill, passing drill
-skating 10 min
-game 10 min
-puck handling/shooting 10 min
-skating 10 min
-[reserved for defensive skill or individual tactic] 10 min
-game 10-15 min: transition game

Week B - day 2 - Role 4
-Warmup 10-15 min: game, Montreal/corner drill, passing drill
-skating 10 min
-game 10 min
-puck handling/shooting 10 min
-skating 10 min
-[reserved for defensive team tactic] 10 min
-game 10-15 min: transition game

   
Junior
Registered: 03/30/10
Posts: 34
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rcmat, I think it looks good. Suggestion is to change up the warm up game so it isn't always the same and then move the teaching part of the practice to about 20 minutes in and that should be the theme behind everything you do the remainder of practice.

I also think you only need skating technique once during the practice and replace the second technique with a skating game. i.e. 1/2 ice game at each end or 2 games at once in one end if you only have half ice where the players can only skate backward, or flat footed, or must pivot with the puck etc.


'The Game is the Greatest Coach'
'Enjoy the Game'
   
Admin
Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 3068
Location: Calgary, Canada
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Thanks Tom!

   
Junior
Registered: 03/30/10
Posts: 34
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Few thougth about roles and training

Notice allso that when you are training role 1 you train allso role 3 and when you train role 2 you train role 4. Naturally you can practice role 1 (and a little role 2) without defensive roles. Basicly it's it up to Coach how you focus your training.
In our season plan we had 5 week sections where 4 weeks the focus was of offensive skills, roles and tactics and one week we focused on the defensive skills, roles and tactics. For example 4 weeks defensive zone attacking and then one week defensive zone defence. Idea was thateven we our focus was heavyly on offensive playing we know that our defence would develop too as a byproduct.

You can allso try to break skills in to roles. when doing a passing drill and your recieving a pass, showing a square blade to passer it's a role 2 skill. Backward skating and pivots would be role 3 and 4 skills and so on.

Role 2 practice could be like this:
1. "break out warm up" with 2/3 of a rink 1/3 for goalie warm up
- you can do this 3-0 to 5-0. pick up the puck, break out, every one touches the puck before offensive blue line.
- you can turn back and regoup from DZ or NZ and then the next group starts
- focus on how reciever make him/her self playable, is thre as stick on ice, square blade to passer and tha he/she faces the puck

2.full ice passing drill a lot of passing and recieving to get much repetitions

3. SAG, 2-2 or 3-3 with jokers focus on getting open and losing your opponent

4. recieving competition, Player has to recieve a bouncing or high pass and then score on a break away if you don't control the puck you lose your chance. you can do it like a team relay race or something like that

5. SAG 2-2 or 3-3 you can score on both goals, focus again on getting open for the pass

6. SAG or full ice 2-2 to 5-5 1-3 touch game, focus on how to greate space with out a puck.


I hope that this makes any sense to you it's quite late here.

Kai


Kai

   
Active Member
Registered: 06/10/09
Posts: 159
Location: Finland
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Attached is a Planner for the first 10 practices and first 5 games. Usually I waited until try outs were finished and had some idea of what the team looked like but this is my first year using the ABC's so I am leaving some time for corrections and adjustments. All ideas and suggestions are welcome as I really want to give these boys a good time.
By the way, it's good to see that the site is back up.

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