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08-16-2009, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by happyhab View Post
I was curious to know where a 7 year old should be in his development?? He really works hard at his skating within a year of skating he is able to skate quickly forward he has started to incorporate crossovers into his game. He can skate backwards and is now (slowly) doing crossovers going backwards.

He wants to make the select team this year under 7, for the record I'm a firm believer of the child having fun this is his own dedication, being a teacher I'm off for the summer so we've gone to the rink everyday in August and I plan on doing that till the end of August. But what should a child really be good at, at his age to make these higher level teams, Thanks really looking forward to your replies especially Coach.

First, I commend that you are taking the time to work with him every day. Most Dads would take the time. In fact, I see a lot of Dads just dropping the kid off and come back later to pick him up. Some times this is good, because this way the kid doesn't get to different messages, one from the coach and one from the parent.

7 is a great age to start. As you know from being a teacher, kids learn at different rates and different ways. As long as it's his idea and you are not forcing him, he will become a great hockey player.

Now, I have been working with a 7 year old who just turned 8. He skates backwards as fast as kids skate forwards. One way you can help improve your childs backwards skating is to have him pull the net.

If your rink has an open ice slot where you can get on the ice and work with him, this is a pretty good drill to use with him to improve his backwards skating by 1000%

Here's how the drill works...

Place the net so that the front on the net is on the ice, leaving the back of the net up so that he can grab the bottom of the metal portion of the net with two hands.

Place him at the center of the net and have him skate backwards with the net. Now, there is more to it then just pulling the net backwards.

What you want to do is teach him, hip to net angle ratio! What?

When he starts to pull the net back, he will need to adjust his hip to allow maximum drive off the pushing leg.

Here's a good example: If a skater is skating forward and you want him on the whistle to skate backwards, he will kind of stop facing either direction and then make a an initial "C" cut off the outside leg. Now this "Kind" of stop isn't a full stop. It's more of a backwards pivot.

Now, if you were to see this, the player would kind of do a stop facing 90 degree to the direction he was skating. However, to quickly go from forward skate to backwards skating, one needs to stop more then 90 degrees. In fact, the player needs to stop more of a 120 degree to the forward motion. What this is going to do is allow that outside drive leg to use that big "C" cut during the initial crossover skating backwards.

Once that "C" leg starts to come back, that player will complete the stride with 2 crossover in one direction.

Then once the two crossovers are made, there is a balancing "transition" before be he does two crossovers in the other direction. Once he completes the two crossovers, there is another balancing "transition" before he crosses in the other direction.

Now, The net is used as a balancing tool. Once he start to get use to shifting his weight and hips while dragging the net, then you do the same thing without the net. The one thing you are looking for is how he turns his hips for that driving "C" cut before the first crossover. This is key! Without turning his hips, he will not have power behind each stride. The net allows him to turn his hips for the power and still keeps his balance.

Now, as he drags this net, he also needs to manipulate the net to shift with him. Example: If he is pulling the net backwards and he wants to start his first cross over from left to right, he is going to pull the right side of the net so it is closer to him, then he is going to adjust his hips so that he is perpendicular to the net. Make a big "C" cut with his left leg and follow through with two crossovers.

During the Balancing Transition, pull the left side of the net towards the body and then adjust his hips to face perpendicular to the net and then start the big "C" cut on the right leg followed by two crossover of the left skate. When he does the cross over correctly, the net will follow and adjust to the proper angle where all he needs to do is adjust his hip perpendicular to the net to allow the driving leg to work.

Hane him do this drill down and back and then without the net. Repeat until he can skate backwards as afst as other kids skate forwards.

Hope this helps.
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