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07-02-2011, 07:17 PM
  #23
JWalker26
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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This is just a knee jerk reaction that will pull American hockey even further behind Canadian hockey. I understand that they want to develop players technical skills (Keeping head up, stickhandling, shooting, etc.) without having kids get their heads taken off, but those are all things that can be practiced away from the rink. I'm not saying that coaches should focus practices entirely on skating and learning how to take checks, but these are things that must be taught on the ice. Coaches need to take the time and effort to thoroughly teach these skills and correct bad habits.

It isn't just learning how to take a check tho. USA hockey needs to be doing what the NHL and NFL haven't been able to do, and find a way to crack down on head shots. Personally, I'm a fan of what's going on in Minnesota right now with the Hockey Education Program and the fair play point. Penalizing a team for a player's dirty hit emphasizes that it is a team game A couple years ago I had played on a team where a 2 guys were constantly running late. Mid-season our coach started bag skating the rest of us anytime someone was late. After a couple of those practices, it wasn't an issue anymore... and I'm rambling.

Point is, while it isn't necessarily a bad thing to try and protect youth hockey players, it is an inefficient use of ice time to not be teaching them how to properly give and receive hits when other skills can just as easily be practiced away from the rink. You don't need to be on the ice to learn how to keep your head up while stickhandling or shooting.

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