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11-08-2010, 09:19 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cincinnati
Country: United States
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I'm not sure of the make up of your team, new players vs. kids who've been playing a while. I coach a bantam house team that is losing on aveerage 9-1. We got out shot yesterday 53-4. To give you an idea of the make up of my team, I have six kids that haven't even been through a checking. Are the kids doing things other than what I've told them, yes. They are just too new to get it and CONFIDENCE is a big issue.

i can't get my kids to go chase down the puck in the corner of the offensive zone. One guy will be gong in, think he's out of position and pull up instead of chasing it down. Other guys won't pressure the other team;s defense at their blue line. instead they'll wait closer to our blue line and give them all the time and space they want. none of this is because the kdis don't care, it's because they don't yet understand and don't have the confidence to attempt a play. I try to reassure them continuously but it is a process. i see little peaks of improvement each game.

Right now I'm taking it a zone at a time. The first thing we need to do is learn how to get it the heck out of our zone and cut down the shot counts. This may sound too "mite like" but I'm teaching them the basic concept of BOB (butts on boards) for a breakout. I will ell from the bench "Where's BOB?" if my wingers are all over the place. They are gradually getting it.

The next step is to convince them to apply preassure to the puck carier. I keep trying to reinforce that they may not walk away with the puck BUT they may force the opposition to make a bad pass which is just as good. Clearly i haven't gotten to much in the offensive zone other than reinforcing yesterday that if you're the first guy in, I don't care if you're left or right wing, I want you chasing down the puck. There was slight improvement on that by the end of the game.

So how does all this relate to your team? If they're a bunch of new players, try to keep it simple for them. Get them to understand BOB. Coach them from the ice - if you corrall the puck behind the net yell, "Where's BOB". It may take a while but they'll catch on. And don't get caught in the trap of "I know they're not going to catch the pass so why bother" mentality. They are going to miss a lot of passes, but they will never be able to catch passes if none are ever made to them - think back to your first year or two playing.

Once you get them undersand BOB get them comforatable attacking the puck carier. This is where you need to be supportive. They are going to make mistakes and get burned. But the first step to improving is to at least have the confidence to try. Once they finally force a turnover or a bad pass the lightbuilb will go on. Reinforce that with a "Good job" when they get to the bench.

I know this can be very challenging and frustrating to a higher level player. Look at it more as an opportunity to develop your leadership skills as was mentioned above and your first foray into coaching. Let the other kids know you're there to help, not to belittle them. They will begin to look up to you and try to take your advice.

Good luck.

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