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Hockey Practice Guide provides Hockey Coaches Multi-Station drill layouts for hockey practices to maximize hockey player skills and coaching efficiency
Practice Evaluation Checklist:
  • Are there goals and objectives set for the
    practice?
  • Have a plan for what you would like the players
    to accomplish

  • Is the practice designed to reflect the skill
    and age of your players?
  • Are you teaching a breakout and the players
    can't pass or receive a pass...
  • Are you practicing passing and shooting and the
    players can hardly balance on their skates...

  • Have a specific purpose and meet the practice
    objectives
  • Invest in a stop watch and hold yourself to a
    time-line.  Avoid doing one drill for 1/2, 3/4 or all
    the practice

  • Did you use the entire ice surface available to
    you? ( Full or half ice)
  • Break your players into groups (skill or line
    based) and get help out on the ice to run and
    manage multiple stations.

  • Do the drills flow and add incremental skill
    progression?
  • Start simple when introducing a new drill and
    slowly build on the drill basics.  Add extra
    passing, shooting, crossing, etc.

  • Do you teach a new skill and drill early in the
    practice?
  • Get the players attention early when they are
    less fatigued

  • Do you teach a new skill and drill in every
    practice?
  • Avoid the habit of having 4 or 5 drills only,
    expand your drill library to keep the practices
    challenging and interesting.

  • Do you keep all players moving and active?
  • You should gauge your practice by how active
    the players are vs standing around (for any
    reason)

  • Do you demonstrate skills and drills clearly?
  • Skip the verbal instruction... Jump right to a
    demonstration (coaches and/or players)

  • Do you use all your on ice help effectively to
    keep the practice running smoothly?
  • Put the on ice help to work running the stations,
    if you can, the coaches work with the players re:
    skills and tactics.

  • Do you observe, evaluate and give POSITIVE
    feedback throughout the practice?
  • It's easy to give negative feedback, work to
    provide a positive learning environment.  Find the
    positive and work in what needs to be corrected
    in a constructive way.

  • Do you keep the drills effective, competitive,
    active and challenging?
  • Players love a challenge...  Encourage the
    players to practice with intensity

  • Do you listen and talk with all your players?
  • Be attentive and list to their question then
    respond in a positive manner.  If it is a general
    team question make sure the team knows the
    question and the response.  If you are working
    with smaller players get down to their level...
    Drop to a knee to look them eye to eye.

  • Do you include a warm-up and cool down in
    each practice?
  • Get the players skating and moving right away
    and give them a few minutes to cool down if they
    have been skating hard at the end of practice.

  • Do you include at least 1 fun drill per practice
    (as simple as a small game station, stick tug-
    a-war, own the dot, sharks and minnows,
    etc)?
  • It's easy to incorporate a 'FUN' station that
    works specific or general skills anytime in the
    practice flow... Be creative!

  • Do you stop drills when they are not doing it
    properly or there is a general a lack of effort?
  • If your players are goofing off and they will from
    time to time.  Reset the drill and emphasis what is
    to be accomplished and the importance of
    executing at game speed.

  • Do you emphasize fun in a positive learning
    environment?
  • As a coach of 'Minor' hockey your goal should be
    to make sure each player develops to their
    individual potential.  Hockey is a marathon and
    not a sprint, by keeping the players in the
    game... Only then do they have a chance of
    reaching their potential.

  • Do you ask the players for feedback re:
    positives about the practice?
  • Make them part of the practice process, they will
    be more engaged and receptive.

  • How about asking the players about areas
    that could be improved...
  • Modify the practice to take into account their
    feedback.  At the start of the year, ask them to
    all design a drill (age dependent) and try to work
    one in for each practice.
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