Any other coaches here? What's your philosophy?

Heat McManus
03-14-2005, 08:12 PM
This is my second year assistant coaching at the freshman level a high school on Long Island. Our philosophy at this level is that every kid plays. We have try-outs, but do not cut any kids. While some people might criticize this as not being competitive enough it helps our program immensly.

1. We don't have enough interest in the area to dress a freshman, JV, and varsity team each yr. In our area a lot of kids start late and most elite kids are playing travel so HS is not as competitive as other areas.
2. Every player gets an incredible amount of experience playing in every kind of situation.

Some of the things we try to emphasize is defensive responsibility (weak side winger picks up the weak side wing), carrying the puck into the zone (rather than dump-and-chase), and developing maturity on the ice (walking away from altercations, not letting your opponent take you to the box).

So far I've seen a few kids start out as a player no coach would look at turn into real valuable player. I've also seen some horrible coaching at this level. How does it benefit your players to let them goal hang in the neutral zone for their entire shift?

I don't want to take any of the credit here, because I'm just the assistant coach and these principles were set way before I got here.

I was just wondering what some other coaching philosophies might be on here.

03-14-2005, 09:37 PM
Well personally, as far as playing a defensive game, I tend to think dumping the puck is the best philosophy...if you are going to have them carry it though, you might want to set up a few simple plays, such as one guy goes in, next guy follows, third guy goes hard to the net, or something of that nature. Also, when carrying the puck, always keep kids from trying to dangle or separating their puck from their body. Additionally, it is good to get them to know that carrying the puck through the middle of the offensive zone is not the way to go, but rather carrying it down the boards and establishing control deep in their opponents zone is more important.

Sixty Six
03-15-2005, 01:54 PM
i try stress defensive reliability alot, especially infront of the net because they like to let people just sit there. I also preach to skate hard and aggresively at all times and to just play smart hockey. Nothing special really and to just play with in themselves and the system

03-15-2005, 06:06 PM
I don't coach, but I think the perfect philosophy is to combine my coaches philosophies....

One of them yells and yells and calls players names and benches everyone and everyone is so scared of him they do what he wants... he's all about offense and thinks defencemen are there just to hit... I don't think that is right

My other coach is a defense first guy... he understands that defencemen have other objectives than to hit and that benching someone is not ALWAYS the right decision... but he is a softie.. he's too nice and everyone sorta takes advantage of him and doesn't listen to him as much (us defensemen listen more bc we respect him)

but I think if you would combine the two and ahve aguy who who gets mad but not too mad.. gets his point across without everytime benching someone.. and understands the importance of a mixture of offense and defence... I think that owuld be a perfect philosophy

03-17-2005, 04:11 PM
Philosophies can change pretty significantly depending on the age or skill level you're coaching. If you're coaching very young kids or guys who are beginners, teaching a system benefits no one. You're far better off pounding individual fundamentals into their skulls.

To do that I would stress simple things that EVERYONE can do. Hard skating (no gliding...ever), no curling away on forechecks, always headman the puck, use simple passes in open ice (nothing through feet or over sticks) and if unsure get it up high and hard.

What you do in the neutral zone depends on whether you stress offense or defense but in the offensive and defensive zone everything should be centered around the front of the net IMO. On offense you want to outnumber your opponenet in front of THEIR net, and not be outnumbered in front of YOUR net.

Funny thing is when guys get to beer leagues it's the fundamentals that are the first things to go. Whatever philosphy you use it seems to me it is best applied as simply as possible. Then use repetition until it becomes instinctive. Hockey is best played as a game of reactions rather than thinking on the ice.