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Thread: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

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    Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players


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    Re: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

    Finally! We don't make Little Leaguers play on 90' basepaths or 400' fences.

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    Re: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

    Quote Originally Posted by joecct View Post
    Finally! We don't make Little Leaguers play on 90' basepaths or 400' fences.
    Way back in the 'dark ages' when I was coaching we always had the real little kids playing cross-ice, or short games with a net in all four corners. Besides the more ice time/more touches advantages it gives the kids it was also a more efficient use of the available ice time you were allotted from a coaches' point of view.

    So I was a little surprised to see this reported on as something new.
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    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    Way back in the 'dark ages' when I was coaching we always had the real little kids playing cross-ice, or short games with a net in all four corners. Besides the more ice time/more touches advantages it gives the kids it was also a more efficient use of the available ice time you were allotted from a coaches' point of view.

    So I was a little surprised to see this reported on as something new.
    And I'm even more surprised there still is some pushback on it.

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    Re: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    Way back in the 'dark ages' when I was coaching we always had the real little kids playing cross-ice, or short games with a net in all four corners. Besides the more ice time/more touches advantages it gives the kids it was also a more efficient use of the available ice time you were allotted from a coaches' point of view.

    So I was a little surprised to see this reported on as something new.
    Yeah, it's nothing new around here either. The news is in Hockey Canada's making it their official policy.

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    Re: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

    As someone who was originally a "pushback", this was my third season coaching at the U8 level here in the states where we use the cross-ice / half-ice, and have since changed my mind. I do not know too much about the way things are done now north of the border as I do not cross over like I did when I was playing 20-25 years ago, but while I agree with some of the things USA Hockey has done with the ADM model, I still don't believe in it all. I don't know if they've since done the same up there but I just shake my head at some of it. Small games, more touches, ect are great, but putting limits on games is just absurd. Our local league is being critical that teams are not following the 3:1 practice to game ratio that USA Hockey wants now. They only want you to play 20 game days a season. We played 27 game days this year with 52 practices and you would have thought we were letting our kids take two-handed swings at our opponents. Nope, they were just upset I didn't keep with the 3:1 ratio. The other thing I don't agree with is how USA hockey wants you to not teach positions/breakouts/power play until later in the U10 team and or first year U12 teams. I can only imagine what our USA Hockey fee will be now that they have to pay the Women's team upwards of 100k each instead of 6k. I doubt it will come from all the higher ups pocket book. Don't get me wrong, the women deserve better, I just can't wait to see the repercussions from the suit and ties.

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    Re: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

    I think we're turning out great cone skaters but lousy hockey players.

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    Re: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

    Quote Originally Posted by joecct View Post
    I think we're turning out great cone skaters but lousy hockey players.
    But that wouldn't be due to having lots of small games at the youngest levels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    But that wouldn't be due to having lots of small games at the youngest levels.
    I think it's bad coaching. Why don't we teach shooting at 8? We teach batting to 8 year olds.

    I was teaching one timers to Mites 20+ years ago. At Squirts we followed it up by teaching them to open up and face the puck carrier when they're on the off wing.

    Oh - I am a firm believer in playing kids on the off wing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joecct View Post
    I think it's bad coaching. Why don't we teach shooting at 8? We teach batting to 8 year olds.

    I was teaching one timers to Mites 20+ years ago. At Squirts we followed it up by teaching them to open up and face the puck carrier when they're on the off wing.

    Oh - I am a firm believer in playing kids on the off wing.
    Correct. A good coach(s) can do both. You can design your drills to accomplish both if you have the desire and skill of thought. You would be shocked at the teams we played that couldn't even set up a simple break out, let alone complete it. The small games are great too, but sometimes going back to the basic fundamentals of hockey works just as good or better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PSUChamps2001 View Post
    Correct. A good coach(s) can do both. You can design your drills to accomplish both if you have the desire and skill of thought. You would be shocked at the teams we played that couldn't even set up a simple break out, let alone complete it. The small games are great too, but sometimes going back to the basic fundamentals of hockey works just as good or better.
    When CHUSA was on the air, I was always looking at drills the colleges were running that I could simplify for the kids.

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    When you think about how many Canadians grew up playing on small ponds and backyard rinks, the idea of smaller rink spaces for the younger kids to play on is not exactly a new concept. I guess the difference is now they are formalizing it for those young ages. Just what we need...more formalization of youth sports by parents who apparently never played or who have long forgotten their formative years playing sports with the rest of the neighborhood kids and NO parental involvement. We just figured it out, remember?!

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    Re: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbeard View Post
    Yeah, it's nothing new around here either. The news is in Hockey Canada's making it their official policy.
    The small games concept has been around for years. As with any development program, it should be an element on a program, not the sole focus.

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    Re: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

    Quote Originally Posted by OnMAA View Post
    The small games concept has been around for years. As with any development program, it should be an element on a program, not the sole focus.
    Bingo! Thank you for this good sensible post.

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    Re: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

    Quote Originally Posted by shelfit View Post
    When you think about how many Canadians grew up playing on small ponds and backyard rinks, the idea of smaller rink spaces for the younger kids to play on is not exactly a new concept. I guess the difference is now they are formalizing it for those young ages. Just what we need...more formalization of youth sports by parents who apparently never played or who have long forgotten their formative years playing sports with the rest of the neighborhood kids and NO parental involvement. We just figured it out, remember?!
    When I grew up in northern Minnesota in the 60's and 70's, we would run our sticks through the blades of our skates and head down to the elementary school outdoor rink every day after school, like a bunch of hobos. We would play several hours a day, with constantly-changing teams and no goalies. All of that goofing around taught us to stickhandle, spin, dig the puck out of the corners, and a thousand other skills that would become useful later on when we played on organized teams and learned to play within a system.

    Years later, I drove my daughter to her youth hockey practices at the one of the arenas near our suburban Minneapolis home. The kids would practice for an hour, learning skating, passing, and shooting skills, but never having time in the organized practice for the little extra skills I learned playing pond hockey. The girls, for the most part, never skated outside of their organized practice schedule.

    This is a long-winded way of saying that small-area skating practices are a critical part of a player's overall development. As the kids got older and could no longer play cross-ice, I always encouraged them to participate in 3-on-3 leagues, particularly on some of the mini rinks such as the Pond in Rosemount or Total Hockey in Lakeville. Those leagues would force the kids to handle the puck and develop their individual puck skills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leather helmet View Post
    When I grew up in northern Minnesota in the 60's and 70's, we would run our sticks through the blades of our skates and head down to the elementary school outdoor rink every day after school, like a bunch of hobos. We would play several hours a day, with constantly-changing teams and no goalies. All of that goofing around taught us to stickhandle, spin, dig the puck out of the corners, and a thousand other skills that would become useful later on when we played on organized teams and learned to play within a system.

    Years later, I drove my daughter to her youth hockey practices at the one of the arenas near our suburban Minneapolis home. The kids would practice for an hour, learning skating, passing, and shooting skills, but never having time in the organized practice for the little extra skills I learned playing pond hockey. The girls, for the most part, never skated outside of their organized practice schedule.

    This is a long-winded way of saying that small-area skating practices are a critical part of a player's overall development. As the kids got older and could no longer play cross-ice, I always encouraged them to participate in 3-on-3 leagues, particularly on some of the mini rinks such as the Pond in Rosemount or Total Hockey in Lakeville. Those leagues would force the kids to handle the puck and develop their individual puck skills.
    I had a similar experience when I was growing up, and you are spot on with your post. Plus I find girls don't like/want to spend hours in the driveway shooting at an empty net like we used to do way back then.

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    Re: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

    Quote Originally Posted by Leather helmet View Post
    When I grew up in northern Minnesota in the 60's and 70's, we would run our sticks through the blades of our skates and head down to the elementary school outdoor rink every day after school, like a bunch of hobos. We would play several hours a day, with constantly-changing teams and no goalies. All of that goofing around taught us to stickhandle, spin, dig the puck out of the corners, and a thousand other skills that would become useful later on when we played on organized teams and learned to play within a system.

    Years later, I drove my daughter to her youth hockey practices at the one of the arenas near our suburban Minneapolis home. The kids would practice for an hour, learning skating, passing, and shooting skills, but never having time in the organized practice for the little extra skills I learned playing pond hockey. The girls, for the most part, never skated outside of their organized practice schedule.

    This is a long-winded way of saying that small-area skating practices are a critical part of a player's overall development. As the kids got older and could no longer play cross-ice, I always encouraged them to participate in 3-on-3 leagues, particularly on some of the mini rinks such as the Pond in Rosemount or Total Hockey in Lakeville. Those leagues would force the kids to handle the puck and develop their individual puck skills.
    Exactly. I grew up on the East side of St.Paul in the 50s & 60s had had the exact same experience. I mentioned over in t he WW thread I tried encouraging my kids to play pond & rink in the winter because of the skills it teaches.

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    Re: Hockey Canada Decides That Less is More Re: Ice Surface & Young Players

    There were three non-consecutive weeks of weather cold enough for outdoor skating this year in the Twin Cities and next winter is supposed to be milder. Good luck with that.
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