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HoseEmAllAround 03-29-2013 11:44 PM

Coaching with 0 experience
Hey guys, I've toyed with the thought recently.

Love hockey. Gotten into it the past few years. Problem is, I never played it on an actual team with a coach or anything. I play pickup every now and then, but that's nothing compared to competitive hockey.

My question is this: How do you become a coach with no experience? How do coaches run a practice? I know systems and such from watching hockey, but implementing would seem difficult. Where can I start?

Thanks guys.

Thepandamancan 03-30-2013 03:19 AM

You really shouldn't...I just started coaching last summer and I'm like you. I play in leagues and stuff, but I've never had a coach. I had a goalie coach for a bit, and that's the best of my coaching and teaching knowledge when it comes to hockey.

I will say though, it's probably one of the most rewarding experiences ever, working with 9u kids and winning a championship, no one should just start being a coach. My in house league was desperate for coaches and at that age group...there's really no pressure.

I learned a lot by watching YouTube videos. I didn't implement a system (since they're too young to understand) and I still don't. However, I learned a valuable trick when it comes to kids that young...figure out what mistakes they're doing in games and create drills in practice that teaches them how to do things the right way. You can't really give them a lesson, if you mask it as a game or something fun they'll learn it a lot easier.

For my second season, I'm still the head coach of a 9u team, but I also started being the assistant coach for a 16u team and learning from a coach with almost 30 years of experience. I'm learning a lot...learning how to run practices, what to say during games, etc.

At some point, you just gotta jump in and do it. Trial by fire...but if you have a chance, learn from someone and study it.

JoeCool16 03-30-2013 05:28 PM

Ever done a learn to play for hockey while you were starting? Did you do a bunch of skating, stick handling, passing etc drills? That should give you a basis to start your practices on. Just try the ones you found effective for yourself and enjoyed, I guess.

Once you're behind the bench it'll probably all come naturally. Just don't try any passionate speeches to rally the team on your first game ;)

#66 03-30-2013 08:50 PM

Get to the rink when a gameor practice is going on and watch other coaches. There are also programs that you can get into.

Darren Peng 03-30-2013 09:09 PM

you've gotta start at the bottom, coaching kids, ideally assistant coach of a team or just coaching learn to play classes

Pcmm 03-31-2013 07:46 AM

Start with asst coaching. I just finish a season helping out my sons hockey team like this. I learned almost as much as he did! We had 2 asst and 1 head coach on his team and it worked out really well!

NarcoPolo 03-31-2013 02:37 PM

A lot of coaches start in house league or community hockey and work their way up from there. Its not too difficult to work your way up through the tiers, you just have to put in the time. If you enjoy it you should do well.

Bear of Bad News 04-01-2013 12:57 PM

"The Hockey Playbook" is a great read for beginning coaches.

beth 04-01-2013 10:22 PM

I started with asst coaching mites and beginners my first year, then squirts, and I just finished up with peewees.

USA Hockey maps a lot of practices out for you. I don't know if you've been to the coaching part of their website, but they have tons of practice plans. You will go through coaching certification training where you will learn about the American Development Model and how to plan for your particular age group.

That being said, I've learned a ton of stuff from other coaches. I spent a lot of time on private lessons for myself and from those I built up a "library" of sorts - exercises that I enjoyed doing and got a lot out of. Also, the women's league I play for has some amazing coaches on rotation, so whenever there's an awesome drill/game that we did. I add it to my list. I take a LOT of notes.

That's the planning part. And that's easy. The more difficult part is knowing how to motivate kids and inspire them and keep them loving hockey. Take a look at the Positive Coaching Alliance website for some ideas with that. Watch other coaches for how they interact with their team. I like to lurk by the benches of the higher level teams and learn a lot that way. This year I got to listen via headset to one of the T-birds coaches during a game and I learned SO much from that about how to use each moment to teach the kids on the bench and keep things positive.

It really is a lot of work, but so rewarding. Don't go into it unless you are going to go all out. I've assisted coaches that had big ideas in the beginning, and then went all half-assed partway through and it was frustrating for me and the kids too.

berglund 04-02-2013 09:45 AM

Start as an assistant coach with lower level/lower skilled kids. They learn the basics and so do you.

Jarick 04-02-2013 11:03 AM

Like the last few posters said, find an experienced coach to assist. You really can't learn that kind of stuff on your own. I mean, you can read and watch and try and get the X's and O's but you need to put in the time to learn the skill of coaching, managing players, working with kids, or working with adults, etc.

It reminds me of guys who want to get into working at music recording studios. Often they go to school and learn how to do it, but they still need to apprentice at a studio to learn the real world application as well as how to manage the artists. Things they can't teach you in school.

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