hockey practice plan
a remarkably foolish approach.
Begin in the dressing room.
Ask each player what they love to work on the most. The answer is always the same: They love shooting the puck.
Tell them to go shoot the puck at least fifty times. This, combined with skating around takes between ten and fifteen minutes.
Bring them back in.
Ask them to think about what really basic skill they need to work on. Funny enough, even children as young as six can answer this question.
Next? Ask them if they know something that they can do to improve this skill. By the time they’re 10, they likely know how to improve. Even better, as a coach, I can give them one small, specific thing to pay attention to in order to improve.
So, have them practice something they want to practice for fifteen minutes.
Then? Divide them into groups of three. Have them skate around and play with one puck per group. The instruction? Work together. Move the puck around. Cover lots of ground and support each other. Watch out for the other group.
Do this for twenty minutes.
By now, they’ll be quite tired.
Have them play a seven minute scrimmage against each other.
And for the final three minutes? Have them skate around and shoot the puck a bunch more. This is a great time to play with trick shots and fancy dekes.
I don’t know if this teaches them anything about hockey.
Most practices I’ve seen involve a lot of being told where to stand, what to do and how to do it.
When it comes to life, I’ve found that the stand here, do that approach is as boring as it is ineffective.
By loosening up the rules, drills and structures that define our lives we get more opportunities to explore and play. Loosing up structures, restrictions and outcomes opens up room for creativity, joy and a greater level of engagement.
Where can you create room to just play around a bit?
It’s like the old saying goes
You can lead a horse to water but that won’t make it a fish.