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05-04-2009, 12:19 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cincinnati
Country: United States
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Heads Up - Don't Duck

first and foremost - NEVER, EVER duck your head (tuck your chin). This is the quickest and easiest way to break your neck. Now that being said, how do I want to go into the boards?

1. If at all possible, I want to go in with anything except my head frist. Try to twist so you go in with your legs, butt etc. first.

2. Recognizing that things happen so quickly on the ice there will be times that a player won't be able to rotate and will be going in head first. When this does happen, extend your arms to lessen the impact. Secondly, KEEP YOUR HEAP up. I know this sounds counter-intuitive but you need to keep your head up. The way the spine and neck are formed, going into the boards with your head down is one of the quickest ways to break your neck.

Here is a link to USA Hockey's Heads Up Program. There are some informational PDF documents on this site you can read that talks about the risks as well as ways to minimize them. This is the autoritative guidance. I as a coach go over this with my players every season. After all, it's our job as coaches to ensure the safety of all the participants.

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