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09-28-2009, 04:37 PM
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Location: TealTown, USA
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Originally Posted by SuperstarTreatment View Post
When I helped coach peewees we always said that you could shoot on your own time, it was our job to teach you how to be in position through intelligence and skating to be able to score even with the worst shot ever.

At 8, most goalies aren't even big enough to take away the entire lower half of the net along the ice, much less the rest of it. It's a huge plus if your team even has a goalie that can intentionally stop 3/4 of the pucks that are shot right at him. I can't tell you how many pucks with just trickle right between a little tyke's legs despite moving so slowly that the puck might come to a dead stop before it even hits the back of the goal.

You don't need to be a one-time, slapshooting, top shelf roofing sniper to score in mites, or even in squirts. What scores goals at that age is speed, stability, stickhandling, body position, and puck movement.

Watch your son's games carefully. How many goals in his league are scored from even 20 feet away or more? 5%? 10%? Of those that do go in from that far, how many are quality shots, and how many went in just because the goalie "missed" it.

Goals in youth hockey are scored by the kids who skate the fastest and have the best control of the puck. Most goals are scored by the kids who can stickhandle through defenders. The ones who can make and catch clean passes to and from their teammates. The ones who are good enough defensively to steal the puck from an opponent, or win a battle along the boards, and can then take off with it for a clean breakaway. When they score on a breakaway, it's not by sniping top shelf backhanders, it's because they skated well enough to get the goalie out of position for a wide open net. Other less speedy kids will score because they set themselves up positionally to take advantage of a loose puck in front of an open net on a juicy rebound.

Kids can shoot in their own backyard on their own time. Kids can go and play pickup. What kids that age NEED from coaches is work on their skating, stickhandling, position, etc. The other stuff comes later.

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