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08-30-2011, 08:21 AM
  #10
Spartin03
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Country: United States
Posts: 160
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I am coaching 8th and 9th graders this year. This is a big year for them and this time is when players either start taking it seriously or they taper off and juts want to play for fun.

I am real excited to get going in the next week and a half, I have a few players returning from our league championship team (tryouts happened at the conclusion of last years season), but for the most part it is all new blood. I can’t wait to start giving them the knowledge I have about the game, and for them to bounce ideas off of me. I find this really helps with their focus and involvement at practices; I even pick one player for each practice to bring their own drill and explain it for the team.

The biggest thing I look for is natural skating ability. Players who are naturally gifted skaters translate to the up tempo pace a little easier IMO. It is one less thing these players have to think about if they are good skaters already. Second thing I look for is what the players do without the puck when they are playing. This helps me see where their hockey IQ's are at in their development, and also how they approach playing (are they more in your face grind it out, or are they more cerebral and play a chess match).

Can’t wait to get this season going!!

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